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Submitting Samples From a Crop in the Field

en Español / em Português

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wheat in a fieldA good sample is essential for an accurate diagnosis. Please follow these instructions carefully. Instructions on this page apply to traditional row crops, small grains, vegetables, annual small fruits (strawberries), and specialty crops (industrial hemp, stevia, Clary sage, etc.).

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To sample for disease diagnosis

  • If possible, avoid sampling when the ground is saturated or foliage is wet from recent rain or heavy dew.
  • Dig (do not pull) several whole plants, leaving root systems intact. Choose plants that represent a range of symptoms from light to severe.
  • Do not shake off the soil immediately around the roots, as it protects them in transit. Soil is also used in some tests, so we request a total of about one quart of soil.
  • Enclose the root system(s) in a plastic bag(s). Except in the case of seedlings, secure the bag around the base of the stem to prevent soil from getting on the foliage.
  • Place the entire plant(s) in an additional plastic bag and seal. Do not add water or wet paper towels.
  • Ripe fruits and vegetables should be packed in absorbent material. They should not be bagged, unless being sent from outside of North Carolina, in which case double-bagging is required.
  • Keep samples out of the sun, preferably refrigerated, until they can be shipped or taken to the clinic.

In addition to the physical sample, a few photographs showing the symptoms of concern and their distribution in the field can be helpful to the diagnosticians. These can be uploaded to the database along with the sample information.