February 26, 2018 | By: Katie Pratt
Princeton, Ky.

The upcoming renovation and expansion of the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center in Princeton will change sample drop-off  policies and procedures for the center’s soil testing and plant disease diagnostic laboratories.  These changes are meant to help technicians process samples from clients as quickly and efficiently as possible, as the center grows to accommodate the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence.

Changes to the plant disease diagnostic lab will begin March 1, and soil testing lab changes start March 19.

“We want to thank our clients for their patience during this process. We are excited about the renovation and expansion and look forward to the improvements it will bring,” said Brenda Kennedy, plant disease diagnostician in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “We may have some challenges processing samples with the upcoming renovation, but we will not let a potentially critical issue sit undiagnosed.”

Individuals are highly encouraged to submit soil samples and diseased plants through their local office of the UK Cooperative Extension Service. Both UKREC labs will be closed to the public during construction. Kentucky residents may drop off plant samples for disease diagnosis with the UKREC receptionist during normal business hours, which are 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-4:30 p.m. Central time. The plant disease diagnostic lab will not receive out-of-state plant samples.

During a construction phase, the plant disease diagnostic lab will have to move, and as a result, will suspend operations. A plant examination service with limited diagnostic capabilities is proposed during this time to allow lab personnel to continue to diagnose diseases. The lab will only accept samples submitted through county extension offices during this phase. It is uncertain when this phase will occur but extension offices will be notified.

“All plant samples submitted for diagnosis are extremely important to us, and I will continue to look at each one on the day it is received; however immediate diagnosis for drop-off samples may not be possible,” Kennedy said

The soil testing lab, part of the UK Division of Regulatory Services, will have designated sample drop-off locations at both the front and back of the facility. As construction progresses, samples requiring certain tests will be sent to the UK soil testing lab in Lexington.

“We are working with the lab in Lexington to minimize any inconvenience to our clients,” said Amanda Martin, UKREC soil lab supervisor.


Kiersten Wise, 270-365-7541, ext. 203; Brenda Kennedy, 270-365-7541, ext. 228; Amanda Martin, 270-365-7541, ext. 227