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Agronomic Services — Plant Tissue Analysis

Kristin A. Hicks, Ph.D., section chief

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.

Standard Analysis includes: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, boron and aluminum.

Standard fee per sample:

  • NC* growers $5
  • NC* researchers $12
  • Non-NC growers or researchers $25

*Samples qualify for the in-state rate if they originated in North Carolina. Research samples require an annual research agreement prior to submission. All research samples receive a 10% analysis recheck for quality control at no added cost.

Extra tests available at $2 each:

  • Molybdenum (Mo)
  • Chloride (Cl)
  • Nitrate- nitrogen (NO3-N).

Note: petiole NO3-N is a required test for strawberry and cotton samples. Molybdenum is a required test for Brassicas, spinach, poinsettia and alfalfa.

North American Proficiency Testing logo.
How to collect and submit a plant tissue sample Plant Sample Submission Form (Grower) updated!
Plant Tissue Sample Submission Form (Research)
NCDA Sample ID Spreadsheet
Pictorial Guide to Plant Tissue Sampling
How to find and interpret your report

Report Search (PALS)
Sample Turnaround Times
Understanding the Plant Tissue Report
Plant Tissue Analysis Guide

Plant Tissue Analysis Methodology

NCDA&CS Plant Analysis Methods
Plant Analysis Reference Procedures for the Southern Region of the United States

Plant Tissue Sampling Quick Guides

Blackberry Raspberry Tissue Sampling
Blueberry Tissue Sampling
Corn Tissue Sampling
Cotton Tissue Sampling
Forages Tissue Sampling
Fraser Fir Tissue Sampling
Grape Tissue Sampling
Hemp Tissue Sampling
Peach Tissue Sampling
Peanut Tissue Sampling
Pine Tissue Sampling
Soybean Tissue Sampling
Strawberry Tissue Sampling
Tobacco Tissue Sampling
Tomato Tissue Sampling
Turf Tissue Sampling
Wheat Tissue Sampling

Sample Containers Sample containers are not available by mail. Pick up mailing envelopes for plant tissue samples at any county Cooperative Extension office or at the Agronomic Division office in Raleigh. Samples can also be submitted in paper bags. DO NOT PUT PLANT SAMPLES IN PLASTIC BAGS.
Other Useful References

Plant Tissue Samples: Proper Handling
Sampling for Plant Analysis
Understanding the Plant Tissue Report for Cotton
Plant Tissue Analysis (descriptive brochure)
Submitting Samples for Problem Diagnosis
Cornstalk Testing to Evaluate Nitrogen Management
Tissue Sampling & Analysis for Greenhouse Tomatoes
Strawberry Tissue Analysis
Harvesting Tobacco Based on Tissue Analysis
Production Tools for Tobacco Growers
Wheat Tissue Samples Assure Proper Spring Nitrogen Rate
Nitrogen Management for Small Grains
NCSU Floriculture Deficiency Series [not pdf ]
Reference Sufficiency Ranges for Plant Analysis in the Southern Region of the United States

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Last Update June 25, 2020


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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