Humic acid is the most powerful and beneficial input in agriculture and yet there are still many growers around the world who are yet to discover this biological wonder. It remains a mystery as to why a substance so intensively researched and proven should remain so poorly understood and utilised. Professor William Jackson's award-winning book, Organic Soil Conditioning, chronicles some of this massive body of positive research. Alternatively, you can google "benefits of humates" to discover what you are missing out on. Here are seven reasons why your 2015 resolution should be to include humates into your program:
Humic acid is not a man-made concoction. It is, in fact, the main natural acid found in the humus in your soil or compost. It offers all of the benefits of humus, but in a more concentrated form. For example, humus holds almost its own weight in water but humic acid holds seven times its own weight, making it a primary drought management tool.
Humic acid is the most powerful known stimulant of beneficial fungi in your soil. This includes the creatures who build stable humus and the organisms who help control disease and produce a resilient soil. Beneficial fungi are the creatures most negatively impacted by modern farming strategies, so a tool to regenerate their numbers can be immeasurably important.
Humic acid magnifies fertiliser inputs, making this investment considerably more productive. The magnification involves a phenomenon called cell sensitisation, where the cell membrane becomes more permeable, allowing about one third more nutrition to enter the cell. Your fertilisers can become over 30% more productive, or you can boost the uptake of anything with which you combine humates.
Humic acid stabilises fertilisers that will otherwise leach or lock-up. Highly leachable urea becomes a stable urea humate. Dry-applied DAP/MAP, which typically deliver less than one third of their soluble phosphate before locking up, become stable phosphate humates that can now deliver all of that phosphate to the crop. The most leachable trace mineral, boron, becomes a stable – boron humate – with the simple addition of humic acid.
Humic acid improves soil structure. In fact, there is no input with more impact. Humic acid modifies the permeability, porosity, water retaining capacity, absorption characteristics, surface area and cation exchange reactions. These are all features relating to improved fertility, production and profitability for farmers.
Humic acid increases crop resilience. This remarkable substance can deactivate enzymes produced by pathogens that would otherwise compromise the plant's immune system. Disease organisms produce enzymes to shut down plant immunity and allow them easy access to do their dirty work. Humates bind to these enzymes to prevent their entry into the plant. This is why high humus soils, which naturally contain higher levels of humic acid, suffer less disease problems than soils lacking in humus.
Humic acid is a powerful bio-fertiliser in its own right. It increases root growth and improves photosynthetic response, while increasing flowering and fruit/seed filling. It is also a powerful stimulant of mycorrhizal fungi, which offer a profound range of plant health benefits.
If you would like to resolve to make 2015 a more productive and more profitable year, then humates may be your most powerful ally. We have found that their inclusion can actually be free of charge! If you simply reduce your standard fertiliser rates to cover the cost of the added humates you will typically do better, at little or no extra cost. NTS Soluble Humate Granules™ are included at a rate of just 5% of the fertiliser rate – i.e., if you are using DAP at 100 kg per hectare, you would include 5 kg of NTS Soluble Humate Granules™ with the soluble phosphate fertiliser. You could potentially reduce the DAP to about 85 kg to accommodate the cost of the humate inclusion.
Nutri-Tech Solutions have been pioneers of humates for over 20 years and during that time we have researched and developed what we consider to be the very best, high performance humic acid in the world. Certainly, our customers in 47 countries frequently confirm this superiority. If you have yet to experiment with humic acid on your farm, make this the year to become humate-aware. Please feel free to contact us on +61 7 5472 9900 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the Humates range on our website.