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NC State Extension

How to Submit a Turf Sample

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Our lab specializes in the diagnosis and management of turfgrass diseases. If your turf is being damaged by a known turfgrass pathogen, we typically diagnose samples within 24 hours of reception (one night of incubation) and provide you with management recommendations as well as answer any questions you may have.

For general questions about turfgrass management and issues in home lawns, please contact your local county extension office first.

N.C. Cooperative Extension Centers

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.


Effective July 1, 2023, the NC State Turfgrass Diagnostics Lab will initiate some new policies and changes.

  1. We are excited to announce that we are permitted to receive samples from anywhere on planet Earth! We have had these permits for a while now, but wanted to test everything out with a few international clients to make sure all is well and we are now opening this service up to everyone. The fee for international samples will be $200 (USD) per submission and payment MUST BE made by credit card. We will not accept wire transfers. Please contact Lee Butler at for international submission guidelines.
  2. Our lab moved away from our old location 5 years ago and with that came an address change. Our website clearly states where to send samples at our current location, therefore we will no longer pick up samples at the old address located in the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic on main campus. Samples will be destroyed by the staff at the PDIC and you will have to resend to the correct address if you still wish to have your samples diagnosed.
  3. Lastly, we will no longer diagnose samples on Fridays if they aren’t received by 3 p.m. Samples received after 3 p.m. will be diagnosed Monday morning the following week.


  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.

    Sample Entry Tips –

    1. 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. Always check our database for your name, your sales rep’s name, etc. BEFORE creating another account for yourself or that person. All you need to do is type your/their name or part of your/their name in the entry field and it will auto populate if already in our system. Only enter your name once in the correct field.

  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. Alternatively, you can email images directly to me at if needed.

  3. Samples should be completely wrapped in aluminum foil, double ziploc bagged (out-of-state and international only), and shipped overnight to the following address. Please contact me at for international shipping instructions.

    FedEx and UPS USPS State Courier
    NC State Turf Diagnostics Lab
    Attn: Lee Butler
    1575 Varsity Drive
    Module 6 -Suite 1535
    Raleigh NC, 27606
    NC State Turf Diagnostics Lab
    Attn: Lee Butler
    Campus Box 7616
    Raleigh NC, 27695

    Shipping Guidelines

    • Avoid using the USPS if you expect a fast turnaround. The USPS will only deliver to our central mail center and then they deliver to us which will cause delays. FedEx and UPS directly deliver to our location on time.
    • Tracking numbers are useful to our lab when planning/coordinating our time in the lab. 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
    • If you would like to drop-off samples in person, you can do so anytime at the FedEx/UPS address above. There is a small round glass table just outside the door where you can leave your sample. Be sure you’ve entered your information online first to avoid confusion on our end. Thank you!

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


Have you …

1. Entered information online?
2. Uploaded or emailed photos?
3. Used the correct address based on shipping vendor?

(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.

Sample Submission Fee Structure 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