November 19, 2013
RALEIGH — The North Carolina legislature has approved a new rule, specific to soil testing, that affects farmers and other clients. According to Session LAw 2013-360 Senate Bill 402 there will be $4 fee for all soil samples processed by the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division during its busiest season: December through March. There will still be no fee from April through November.
The rationale for this is as follows:
* To improve lab efficiency by encouraging more growers to sample early, thereby fostering a more balanced sample load throughout the year
* To enhance sustainability of the soil-testing program by generating receipts that will be earmarked for lab improvements, such as automated equipment, additional peak-season personnel and computer-programming enhancements [The draft 2013 Appropriations Act ensures that receipts generated by the new fee will be appropriated to NCDA&CS for this purpose for FY 2014 and 2015.]
Please note that this year, Dec. 1 falls on a Sunday and is preceded by the Thanksgiving holidays.
Wednesday, Nov. 27, will be the last business day of the month for the soil testing lab. Any soil samples arriving after 6 p.m. on Nov. 27 will be subject to the peak-season fee because they will not be logged in and processed until Dec. 2.
Sample drop offs must take place during business hours which are 6 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday through Friday. A locked gate will prevent access to the loading dock area after hours and on weekends. This change will help increase the security of samples and improve customers’ access to Agronomic Division personnel.
Payment should not be placed inside shippers. By late Fall 2013, clients will have the convenience of entering sample and payment (credit card or escrow account) information online in the PALS website. Cash and checks will be accepted for peak-season samples only if deposited in advance in an escrow account.
For questions contact Bruce McLean, agriculture extension agent— horticulture, at 910-862-4591.