Black Earth Blog
The Impact of Humic Substances on Seed Germination
Posted by Brett Halliday
May 20, 2014 9:02:00 AM
"Humic substance" is a term used to describe all humic products that container a degree of humic and fulvic acids.
It can be used as an alternative to names such as humates, humalite, leonardite, humic material or humic acids. The active ingredients within these materials are humic and fulvic acids which come in a range of molecular sizes. They all have slightly different functions within the soil and plant and are all vital for a healthy, biological soil.
It is spring again and with this comes time for seeding.
Farmers are now selecting their seed, fertilizers, equipment and other additives to ensure they produce their best crops. With that comes many expenses and farmers are always looking for a way to save a few dollars. Well here it is, add humic substances to your starter fertilizers to boost germination rates! Seeds are expensive and the success rates from one bag of seed can be depressing for any farmer. If you can increase your germination rates by just 5% then you have made money before the crop even starts protruding from the ground. Here is how it happens:
Increased suspension of nutrients within the root zone.
It is pointless putting down Nitrogen or any other type of nutrient if your soil does not have the capacity (or CEC) to hold these nutrients. It is like washing your money down the drain, literally. humic acid has a CEC of 450meq/100g and fulvic acid has a CEC of 1,450meq/100g. This is the highest level of CEC for any natural material and will reduce the loss of nutrients through leaching dramatically, increasing their availability for your seed.
Availability of Nutrients
Many soil tests can show high concentrations of nutrients, yet a leaf analysis may show a deficiency in that same nutrient. Why is this? It is because that particular nutrient is in a chemical formation that is not available for your plant. To help ensure your seed and plant has all the nutrients it requires from the very beginning, use humic materials to increase their availability within the soil.
Fulvic acid is the strongest natural chelating agent and increases the uptake of nutrients dramatically. It claws onto nutreints within the soil, removing their negative or positive charge. This prohibits them from bonding with any other nutrients within the soil. Secondly, the fulvic acid carries this nutrient into the plant creating a healthy and nutrient rich plant that can grow strong and fast while also being extra resistance to pests and diseases.
At this time of year, it is important to focus on where your money can be best spent to provide you with the best crop at the most affordable price. Learn more about humic substances by contacting us. We can assist you with further information and then provide you information on where you can source the material locally.
Learn more about the effect of humics in agriculture, horticulture, and turf applications in our applied research.
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