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Agronomic Services — Plant Tissue Analysis

Kristin A. Hicks, Ph.D., Section Chief
(919) 664-1603
Don Edralin, Ph.D. Agronomist

Plant tissue analysis can indicate whether plants contain the concentrations of essential nutrients necessary for optimum growth. Results help growers monitor nutrient uptake, correct deficiencies before they reach a critical stage and, for some crops, time harvest appropriately.

Note: Plant tissue analysis does not include analysis of forage plants for use as animal feed. Feed analysis is provided through the NCDA&CS Food & Drug Protection Division.

Choose Your Tests

Standard Analysis: Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, boron and aluminum.
In-State Grower Sample
$5.00 *
In-State Research Sample
$12.00 **
Out-of-State Grower or Research Sample
$25.00 **
Optional Tests
Nitrate (NO3-N)
Required for strawberry and cotton petioles.
Molybdenum (Mo)
Required for Brassicas, spinach, Poinsettia and alfalfa.
Chloride (Cl)

* Samples qualify for the in-state rate if they originated in North Carolina.
**Research samples: additional form required. See “Submit a Sample” section.

Collect a Sample

Pictorial Guide to Plant Tissue Sampling
Plant Tissue Samples: Proper Handling
Sample Turnaround Times
Submitting Samples for Problem Diagnosis

Plant Tissue Sampling Quick Guides

Samples can be submitted in paper bags or envelopes. NCDA plant tissue mailing envelopes may be picked up at your county Cooperative Extension office or at the Agronomic Division office in Raleigh. DO NOT PUT PLANT SAMPLES IN PLASTIC BAGS.

Submit a Sample

Plant Tissue Sample Submission Form (Grower)

Plant Tissue Sample Submission Form (Research)

NCDA Sample ID Spreadsheet

FAQs for Researchers

**Research samples require an Research Project Agreement prior to submission.

Find Your Report

Once a report is released, you will receive an email notification with a link to your report on the PALS website. You may also search for your report online under your name at

Report Search (PALS)

How to retrieve your report on PALS - Video tutorial

Understand Your Report

Understanding the Plant Tissue Report
Plant Tissue Analysis Guide

Useful References

NCDA&CS Plant Analysis Methods

Plant Analysis Reference Procedures for the Southern Region of the United States

Cornstalk Testing to Evaluate Nitrogen Management

Harvesting Tobacco Based on Tissue Analysis

Reference Sufficiency Ranges for Plant Analysis in the Southern Region of the United States

Small Grain Production Guide

Strawberry Tissue Analysis

Tissue Sampling & Analysis for Greenhouse Tomatoes

Understanding the Plant Tissue Report for Cotton

Wheat Tissue Samples Assure Proper Spring Nitrogen Rate

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Last Update November 18, 2022


NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division, Colleen M. Hudak-Wise, Ph.D., Director
Mailing Address: 1040 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1040
Physical Address: 4300 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh NC 27607-6465
Phone: (919) 664-1600; FAX: (919) 733-2837

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