Humates are highly compressed, natural organic humus, the decayed remains of tropical rain forests which existed millions of years ago. Humate deposits were once buried deeply but have been exhumed to near-surface conditions and oxidized by bacterial action in exactly the same way as humus is formed in rich agricultural soils. Thus, humates provide a concentrated source of naturally-occurring humus to your soil. Humates have a high humic acid content (humic acid is one of the most biochemically active elements in humus). The minerals and trace elements contained in humates and in the soil are readily available to plants through organic complexing. Adding Humates is the most efficient way to increase the humus content of soil, as it is highly concentrated and much easier to apply than any other form of humic matter. Also, since humates are completely decomposed, they enter into no nutritional competition with plants for nutrients such as nitrogen.
Increased Crop Yields
Humates have been shown to provide a significant increase in crop yields when combined with your current fertilizer program. Humates can improve root development, total leaf area and total crop yields per acre.
Increased Root Growth
A consistent result from all crops tested was increased root growth. Length, density, and radius of plant roots dramatically increased. Tests have shown that root system vigor is very important to the nutrient uptake capability of plants, as well as to the plant’s ability to combat disease. In addition, plant stability is enhanced, and plants are better able to find and absorb water with a broad based root system.
Increased Chlorphyll Content
Humic matter has been shown to increase the chlorophyll content in plants, and can prevent or correct chlorosis.
Increased Nutrient Uptake
Humates have been shown to consistently improve the uptake of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron, as well as innumerable trace elements essential for plant health. This is due to the biochemically active nature of humic acid, and its ability to form both soluble and insoluble complexes with various metals, minerals, and organics. Nutrients are mobilized in forms that the plants can accept.
Improved Plant Quality
Humates can improve the quality of fruit, vegetables, and flowers by improving their physical appearance, and in the case of food crops, their nutritional value. Cereal crops have shown a more balanced amino acid content, and a higher protein content. All of this can enhance their worth in the marketplace.
Enhanced Natural Defenses
The biochemically active nature of humic acid works to enhance a plant’s natural defenses against toxins and disease. Many toxins are inhibited or neutralized directly by bonding interactions with humic acids. In addition, biologically active compounds (such as antibiotics and phenolic acids) found in healthy humus can enhance plant resistance to some diseases. Finally, plants which are healthy and receive all of their required nutrients are better able to combat disease and pests.
Humus combines with clay minerals to form structural units called aggregates. These help to stabilize the soil and increase its permeability to water and gaseous exchanges. Also, life forms such as bacteria and earthworms, which are dependent on humus content, make a large contribution to the maintenance of soil structure. The use of humate can prevent soil cracking, which exposes roots to the air and can cause crops to burn in severe heat conditions. Since organic matter is not water soluble, soil with a high humus content is less likely to be subject to water erosion.
Improved Water Retention
Humates can hold up to 20 times their weight in water. By enhancing the soil’s ability to retain water, humate usage can reduce the need for crop irrigation. This can be especially helpful with sandy soils, and contributes a large measure of drought resistance to crops.
Differing Soil pH
Because of the chemical bonding interactions of humic acid, plants are able to grow in soil with more widely varying pH values. In addition the humic stimulation of microbial activity leads to a healthy soil biota which will ultimately bring the pH of the soil into a more normal range.