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NC State Extension

How to Submit a Turf Sample


Days of Operation  — Monday – Friday

Hours  — 8 a.m. to 4:30 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

For turfgrass weed identification and control recommendations, please contact our extension turfgrass weed management specialist, Dr. Fred Yelverton.


SAMPLE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  1. Sample forms MUST BE filled out online using our database – PDIC Database. If you have submitted samples in the past, you should already have an account set up. Your username is your email address. There is an “Oops! I Forgot My Email Address or Password” option at login if needed. 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 contact information, 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 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

    1. Packages sent via UPS or FedEx have been the best for timely deliveries during COVID-19. The USPS has not been very good at getting packages to us for whatever reason, so please avoid using them if you can.
    2. We REQUIRE a tracking number for all samples. 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
    3. 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. 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