The increase in the demand for fertilizers world-wide has drastically increased the cost of fertilizers. In addition to the cost, availability may be difficult in the coming years. Whether due to cost or availability many growers are looking for alternatives and products to improve yields with less NPK fertilizers. We would like to suggest humates.
Improved Water Retention, and water holding capacity
Humates can hold up to 20 times their weight in water.
Humic substances can enhance the release of fixed K from montmorillonite soils.
Addition of humic acids can increase P uptake by 25%.
Humic substances will increase length, and number of lateral roots, seedling growth after germination, nutrient availability and nutrient uptake.
These substances also affect a wide range of enzymatic processes.
Humates, play a vital role in soil fertility and plant nutrition. Plants grown on soils which contain adequate humates are less subject to stress, are healthier, produce higher yields, and the nutritional quality of feeds are superior. Humic substances are important in soil fertility and plant nutrition because of the part they play in the life cycle on earth. The life-death cycle involves a recycling of the carbon from plants to animals through the soil and air and back into the living plant.
Humates have been “forgotten “ when it was discovered that soluble acidic based N P and K fertilizers could stimulate plant growth. Continued use of these acidic fertilizers has decreased humic substances in the soil. This decrease is the main cause of leaching and erosion. Giving higher priority to soil humus and humates is a must to improve soil condition and yield.
Humic substances are recognized by most soil scientists and agronomists as the most important component of a healthy fertile soil. In addition, by understanding how these carbon containing substances function, professionals will have a solid foundation on which to design truly “complete” fertilizer recommendations.
Read Dr. Robert E Pettit's paper ORGANIC MATTER, HUMUS, HUMATE, HUMIC ACID, FULVIC ACID AND HUMIN: THEIR IMPORTANCE IN SOIL FERTILITY AND PLANT HEALTH
The Blogronomist is maintained by Craig Dick, head blogronomist and VP of Sales and Marketing. Here you will find a wide array of blog articles from Craig and expert guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!