New features and easier searches are now awaiting visitors at the newly revamped Agronomics Division website.
The most significant change in design is in the soil test reports for home and garden samples, says Colleen Hudak-Wise, director of the department's Agronomic Services Division.
"These reports are now streamlined to focus on information most critical to home gardeners: soil pH and recommendations for lime and fertilizer. Soil pH and nutrient levels are displayed graphically so clients can easily see if their soil parameters are above, below or within optimum ranges," Hudak-Wise says.
The changes to the website are not just superficial, points out Hudak-Wise. Behind the scenes, the entire data-gathering mechanics of the agronomic laboratories have been reworked. Although full benefits of the reprogramming will not be obvious to users, they will notice the agronomic reports have a new design and include explanatory information and hyperlinks to additional resources.
Detailed guidelines explain how to select and apply lime and fertilizer
The new website also contains advanced features for more experienced users. Foremost is the ability to access a recent soil report and generate revised fertilizer recommendations for a different crop. With this feature, growers will no longer have to consult with a staff agronomist to get new recommendations when their crop plans change. Another feature allows farmers who use GPS software to map their fields and apply amendments, to download report data in XML format.
In addition, returning users now have the option to update their contact information online. They can create a password-accessible login account and make corrections to their name, email address, phone number and other pertinent information. "Many users count on receiving email notifications when their reports are complete," Hudak-Wise said. "Now they can ensure that messages will be delivered to the appropriate address."
To check out the site visit http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/. Those who have submitted samples for analysis can select the "Find Your Report from the navigation bar to see the results.