Sample Collection & Shipping Guidelines
A good plant diagnosis starts with sample collection. By submitting a high-quality sample, you help the clinic provide a high-quality, accurate diagnosis.
Please follow the collection and shipping instructions we've put together for each type of submission to ensure successful diagnosis.
Please complete the Sample Submission Form (pdf) and include it with your submission.
- Collect and ship samples on or before Wednesday to avoid weekend storage
- Send a healthy-looking plant and a symptomatic/sick plant
- Collect entire plant when possible:
- Dig up symptomatic plants to keep root system intact.
- Bag roots separate, and then place entire plant into larger plastic bag.
- Label and use plastic bag instead of paper and do not add water. This will maintain sample integrity.
- Once collected, ship plant samples ASAP via overnight UPS or FedEx; USPS can take up to 14 days and will yield inaccurate test results.
- Wilt Diseases:
- Collect several branches ½ to 1 inch in diameter and 12 inches long
- Branch should be in the process of wilting but not dead
- Foliar disease, cankers, fruit rots:
- Collect several branches 10-12 inches long (or fruit) showing a range of symptoms
- Collect entire plant – for tall field crop, cut the stalk in several places, bag the roots separately, and place plant foliage and root bag into large plastic bag
- Collect plants that are declining but not dead
- Don’t forget to send in a healthy/good crop
- Send entire plant, even for virus testing
- Wheat degrades rapidly in the mail, so always mail overnight via UPS/FedEx
- Bag roots separately to avoid soil contact with the leaves
- Collect a plug from the boarder of the browning edge (sample should be half green, half brown)
- Cut out a plug a few inches across and deep
- Provide lots of information on submission form
- Send photos of lawn/field to show patterns
- Pine Wilt:
- For best results, collect branches adjacent to the trunk of the tree
- Collect branches 2 inches in diameter (thumb size) and 6-8 inches long
- Corn Nematodes:
- Both plants and soil from good and bad areas should be collected
- Collect soil and plants around 5-6 weeks after planting, a good sample must have shallow roots
- Plants Collection:
- Dig up several symptomatic (stunted) plants and several healthy plants for submission (label bags accordingly)
- Bag soil and roots separately for each healthy and symptomatic plants
- Soil Collection:
- Take 15-20 cores in the root zone around 6 – 8 inches deep
- Do NOT mix cores. Corn nematodes are fragile.
- Ship overnight before Wednesday
- Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN):
- SCN Coalition Collection Guide (pdf)
- Divide field into 20 acres sections based on cropping history and soil type
- Collect 10-20 soil core at a depth of 6 -8 inches for every 20 acres
- Use a zig zag pattern to collect
- Make sure to collect cores around waterways, low yielding areas, field entry points, low spots, and frequency flooded areas
- Mix cores well and submit a minimum of 1 pints to clinic