Role of Humic Acid in Improving Soil Quality and Plant Growth

In this modern day to maintain soil quality for healthy plant growth every plant needs some components, humic acid is one of them. Humic acid is a natural bio-stimulant that is derived from leonardite and is among the most concentrated organic material available today. Elemental analysis of humic acid has shown it to consist largely of carbon and oxygen (about 50% and 40% respectively). Humic acid also contains hydrogen (about 5%), nitrogen (about 3%), phosphorous and sulfur (both less than 1%). Humic acid is a complex of closely related macromolecules.


                                                                                    Crystal Humic Acid


Humic acid is a principal component of humic substances, which are the major organic constituents of soil (humus), peat, coal, many upland streams, dystrophic lakes, and ocean water.

Humic substances of the soil provide a source of energy to living organisms of the soil, as they do not have access to energy produced through photosynthesis like terrestrial plants. For this reason, the presence of organic substances is of great importance in ensuring the occurrence of  metabolic reactions in the soil. Soil organisms such as algae, yeast fungi, bacteria, nematodes, mycorrhizae, etc. perform important functions such as improving the soil fertility and structure and promoting plant growth and resistance against various diseases.

Humus compounds are complex natural organic compounds that are formed in soils from plant residues, by a process of “humification”. Humus materials are complex aggregate of brown to dark colored amorphous substances, which have originated during the decomposition of plant and animal residues by microorganisms, under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, in soils, composts, peat bogs, and water basins. Chemically, humus consists of certain constituents of the original plant material resistant to further decomposition; of substances undergoing decomposition; of complexes resulting from decomposition, either by processes of hydrolysis or by oxidation and reduction; and of various compounds synthesized by microorganisms.

Humic and Fulvic Acid Biostimulants

Most gardeners know the value of adding compost for growing a healthy garden. Compost, the decomposed remains of plants, animals and their byproducts, provide many of the raw materials for vigorous plant growth. Humic acid is extracted from prehistoric compost piles. Although much of the fertilizer value of the compost has long been leached away, the biostimulant value still remains. Humic acids consist of two parts, humic acid and fulvic acid. Humic and fulvic acids actively help the plant take up nutrient ions that are often locked up in the soil. The extracts, obtained from leonardite, alsocontain many beneficial trace elements that activate important enzymes in the plant.


Greatest Value as Chelators:

The greatest value of humic and fulvic acids are their roles as chelators. Humic and fulvic acids have functional groups that act as claws, holding mineral ions strongly enough to keep them from reacting with each other and becoming unavailable to the plant, but weakly enough so that they can be released to the plant cells on demand. Humic acid transports the minerals to the outside of the cell membranes, and releases the minerals for uptake by the plant. The fulvic acid fraction consists of small organic molecules that easily penetrate cell membranes. The more biologically active of the two fractions, fulvic acid transports minerals through the cell membranes and releases them directly to the plant cells.


Why Use Humic products?

Growers must put Carbon back into their agronomy practices in an efficient and readily available manner, while reducing dependency on synthetic fertilizers and chemicals. This is the only path to continued agricultural sustainability, otherwise the Carbon (Food for soil organisms) diminishes to zero and renders the addition of man-made synthetic nutrients pointless.

Enhance Nutrients Uptake-


Humic products are extremely effective in combating salinity issues that arise from heavy use of synthetic fertilizers and well water degradation. Feeding soil bacteria massive amounts of Carbon(their primary food source) along with the Energy and Oxygen necessary to respirate the food, stimulates massive root growth. Larger root system means more water and nutrients available for sugar production = Increased Yield.

Increase Crop Production- 


Plant health is based on the ability to produce more carbohydrates than are consumed. The health, quality and yield are increased based on a surplus of carbohydrate.

Unfortunately, the overuse of fertilizers and chemicals made the soils more saline, limiting the plants ability to grow substantial root mass and therefore decreased the plants ability to uptake water and nutrients. Soil amendments such as elemental sulfur, gypsum, and other calcium materials do not help reclaim saline soils, but rather increase total salinity, further compounding the problems.

Modern farming practices, irrigation, drainage, cultivation, harvesting, compaction, heavy use of synthetic fertilizers and chemicals have contributed to the depletion of soil humus and beneficial bacteria to a level where crop sustainability is severely threatened. Humic substances have historically been re-generated in the soil through such practices as crop rotation, planting legumes, green manure, and applying compost. These practices are time consuming, costly and today's economic pressures prevent growers from sustaining these practices.

Now, a sustainable method of adding significant amounts of clean activated Carbon back into our soils is readily available through Humic products.

Humic substances add tremendous amounts of "natural" food for soil organisms in a cost-effective and sustainable manner, which also increases the Cation Exchange Capacity of the soil, another Huge benefit!

Decreases Water Uses-

Water and Nutrient holding capacity is greatly enhanced with the addition of Humic products. Soil is better "conditioned" with the addition of Carbon through Humic. Modern farm cultural practices like plowing and rototilling have significantly decreased soil Carbon levels through the introduction of atmospheric oxygen which volatilizes off as carbon dioxide. Another Huge reason to incorporate Humic products into your agronomy program.


Humic acid’s role in improving soil quality-

Most people are quick to say Humic Acids are fertilizers, but in fact, it is more of a natural soil conditioner. The benefits far outweigh the costs and with so many soils being depleted around the world today, Humic Acids are an effective product to reverse the depletion trend. In a world where we are seeing world population grow at an exponential rate, and are losing arable acres on which to grow crops, we need to fertilize crops to maximize production and feed the hungry.

Humic acid’s role in improving Plants growth-

One way plant growth is improved is through the structural improvement of both clay and sandy soil allowing for better root growth development. Plant growth is also improved by the ability of the plant to uptake and receive more nutrients. Humic acid is especially beneficial in freeing up nutrients in the soil so that they are made available to the plant as needed. For instance if an aluminum molecule is binded with a phosphorus one, humic acid detaches them making the phosphorus available for the plant. Humic acid is also especially important because of its ability to chelate micronutrients increasing their bio-availability.


The activities of beneficial soil microbes are crucial for the sustainability of any plant growth. Humic acid stimulates microbial activity by providing the indigenous microbes with a carbon source for food, thus encouraging plant’s growth and activity. Soil microbes are responsible for solubilizing vital nutrients such as phosphorus that can then be absorbed by the humic acid and in turn made available to the plant for better growth and root development. Additionally, microbes are responsible for the continued development of humus in the soil as it continues to break down not fully decomposed organic matter. This in-situ production of humus continues to naturally add to the humic acid base and its benefits.

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8/16/2017 10:33 AM
Soil quantity and plant growth is very important and careful factor in gardening... .giving useful information, Nice!
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