A fresh look awaits members of the public who visit the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services? website to search for their agronomic reports. The site has been redesigned to make searching for reports easier and provide useful new features.
Three years of programming funded by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission have made this initial improvement possible, and additional features are scheduled to be implemented later this year. ?The public will find the new search and download features more user-friendly,? said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. ?And growers who use GPS should notice more compatibility with their software.?
To check out the new site, visit www.ncagr.gov/agronomi and select ?Find Your Report from the left-column navigation bar.
The changes to the website are not just superficial, said Dr. Colleen Hudak-Wise, director of the department?s Agronomic Services Division. 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.
The most significant change in design is in the soil test reports for home and garden samples, Hudak-Wise said. ?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,? she said. 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.?