When the subject of humic material and water retention comes up, it often leads to a lot of discussions about opening up plant cell membranes, making it easier for fluids to pass and hold.
But, as important as these effects are to the life and health of crops, the scientific explanations behind the dynamics don't do a lot to convince farmers and others involved in agriculture why they should really care about humic material and water retention.
In an effort to help clear up some of the confusion, here is what improved water retention in your soil really means to you and your farm:
When soil holds moisture in, it becomes thicker and more usable.
In some studies, humic material showed the potential to transform dry, desert-like environments into viable places for farming growth. Regardless of what kind of soil you have to work with, though, having moist, optimally packed soil (with stable aggregates) is a good thing for virtually any type of plant life and vegetation.
Stronger plants grow from soil with improved water retention.
This is because, when soil is thicker and rightly packed, plants can extend deeper, thicker, and healthier roots. That means they can stand up to unpredictable weather, as well as grow taller and produce larger fruits, vegetables, and seeds.
Water retention goes hand-in-hand with other growth benefits.
As part of the same process that helps soil water retention improve, humalite also encourages microbial growth and better absorption of nutrients. That means healthier plants that grow faster and enjoy increased resistance to disease and pests.
You don't have to know or care about the scientific details of humic material and water retention to appreciate the fact that the right soil additive can make fertilizer more effective, help you reclaim marginal land, and produce higher, disease-free agricultural yields.