HUMIC SUBSTANCES: b_left.gif (236 bytes) b_right.gif (233 bytes)

WHAT ARE THEY AND WHAT CAN THEY DO?

1. Humic substance is the end product of decayed matter, and usually contains large quantities of trace minerals. It contains up to 5,000 calories per gram, providing energy that can be used for plant growth.

2. Humates (metal complexes of humic acid) supply growing plants with food. They also make soil more fertile and productive.

3. Humic substance increases the water holding capacity of soil; therefore, it helps plants resist droughts and produces better crops in reduced water conditions.

4. Humic substance breaks up unproductive clay soils, turning them into profitable soils.

5. Humic substance helps retain water soluble inorganic fertilisers, releases them, as needed, to the growing plants, and helps prevent soil leaching.

6. Humic acid stimulates seed germination and viability, and root respiration, formation and growth.

7. Humic acid reduces other fertiliser requirements and increases yield in crops such as  potatoes, wheat, tomatoes, corn, beets, etc.

8. Humic substance fosteres improved drainage.

9. Humic substance increases aeration of the soil.

10. Humic acids increase the protein and mineral contents of most crops.

11. Humates establish a desirable environment for microorganism development.

12. Humic substances produce thicker, greener, and healthier crops.

Effects on Soil Fertility.

Native soil humic substances enhance plant growth both directly and indirectly.

Physically, they promote good soil structure and increase the water holding capacity of the soil.

Biologically, they affect the activities of microorganisms.

Chemically, they serve as an adsorption and retention complex for inorganic plant nutrients.

Nutritionally, they are sources of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulphur for plants and microorganisms. All of these effects increase the productivity of the soil.

Effects on Plants.

Humic acids can have a direct positive effect on plant growth in a number of ways.

Both plant root and top growth have been stimulated by humates, but the effect is usually more prominent in the roots. A proliferation in root growth, resulting in an increased efficiency of the root system, is a likely cause of higher plant yields seen in response to humic acid treatment.

Humic matter has been shown to increase the uptake of nitrogen by plants, and to increase soil nitrogen utilization efficiency. It can also enhance the uptake of potassium,calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Humic and fulvic acids are soluble in water and make available to plants, nutrients and trace minerals that would be otherwise unavailable.

One of the valuable characteristics of humic substances is the ability to absorb and retain quite large amounts of water. In addition, fulvic acid helps water penetrate and permeate plant cells, assisting nutrient uptake and water storage during drought conditions.


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