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NC State Extension

How to Submit a Turf Sample

If you have a turf problem and don’t know what it is, then you’ve come to the right place. An accurate diagnosis is critical and should be the first step in controlling any pest quickly and economically. The NC State Turf Diagnostics Lab specializes in rapid and accurate diagnosis of turfgrass diseases for turfgrass professionals and property owners.


Days of Operation  — Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday

Hours  — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please note that we do not process nematode samples. We suggest you submit those to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nematology Lab – NCDA Nematode Lab


  1. Sample forms must be filled out online using our database – PDIC Database.
    We are no longer accepting paper forms due to very limited office support staff. Instructions for new database users can be found on the New Users Page.Sample Entry Tips –

    1. Ignore the warning about not accepting out-of-state samples, that only applies to non-turf samples
    2. When entering people’s names in, keep these designations in mind –
      • Client = grower, golf course superintendent, homeowner, field manager, sod farmer, etc.
      • Agent = N.C. Cooperative Extension Agents
      • Consultant = landscaper, sales/company rep, agronomist consultant, etc.
      • Other = anyone else you want to add on the sample that will see the report

  2. We now require photos with all submissions and you can upload those with your entry in the database. You can also upload files such as spray records, soil test reports, nematode reports, etc. We will not process your samples until we have photos. This allows us to understand exactly what the symptoms are and increase our accuracy during the diagnostic process. Photos from standing height looking out across the turf are ideal. Up close photos or those looking straight down at the ground typically aren’t useful unless they clearly show something unique.

  3. Samples should be completely wrapped in aluminum foil, double ziploc bagged (out-of-state only), and shipped overnight to the following address:

    NC State Turf Diagnostics Lab
    Attn: Lee Butler
    1575 Varsity Drive
    Module 6
    Raleigh, NC 27606
    (919) 513-3878


    Shipping Guidelines During Limited Opening

    1. Shipments should be scheduled for delivery on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday to avoid delays.
    2. Packages sent via UPS or FedEx have been the best for timely deliveries during this time. The USPS has not been very good at getting packages to us for whatever reason, so please avoid using them if you can.
    3. We require a tracking number for all samples during this time period. Please do not request a signature upon delivery as for this will likely result in delays. Tracking numbers should be emailed to Lee Butler at elbutler@ncsu.edu
    4. If you would like to drop-off samples in person, please coordinate your drop with Lee Butler via email (elbutler@ncsu.edu).

  4. Payment is expected ASAP following completion of our services using our online credit card payment system – Payment Site.

FINAL CHECKLIST

Have you …

1. Entered information online?
2. Uploaded photos?
3. Scheduled delivery for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday?
4. Emailed tracking number to Lee Butler (elbutler@ncsu.edu)?

(Failure to complete all items above WILL result in delayed service)


Please take the time to fill in as much information as possible to help ensure an accurate diagnosis. A video guide is provided below for proper sample collection. Fees are applied per problem. Please send at least 2, but no more than 4, samples per problem. If you would like to send multiple problems, then you will need to enter them separately in the database. If you are unsure, please contact us for assistance.


Problem Examples

  1. 2 samples of grass type A all showing the same symptom = 1 entry/fee
  2. 2 samples of grass type A and 2 samples of the same grass type with different symptoms = 2 entries/fees
  3. 2 samples of grass type A and 2 samples of grass type B, regardless of symptoms = 2 entries/fees

How to Collect and Submit Turfgrass Samples Video Guides