Questions & Answers:

1.       How do we assess what products are needed for each crop?

We generally assess what’s needed by looking at the soil analysis report, finding the missing links (deficiencies) and assessing organic matter. We then check percentages of sand-silt-clay. Based on macro-micro parameters on crop fertility guidelines, we will calculate soil needs accordingly and give our recommendations for the necessary quantities of humic. After having reviewed 20,000 soil reports for humic recommendations, we find that on average, each field crop requires approximately 4 gallons per acre, even with high organic matter in the soil.

2.       What are common changes noticed when using humic vs not using humic?

If we use humic (best used with required nutrients by crop),  We have generally observed better vigor to the stand, crop uniformity, water infiltration, and good overall quality. This is contingent upon quantity applied, when it is applied, along with general soil conditions.

3.       How noticeable are results generally based on first season run?

Noticeable results may be seen in the first season. Applying any recommended amounts may enhance your fertilizer and water-use efficiency.  If you apply the required nutrients (fertilizers) you should notice healthier plants and an ample amount of nutrients from your tissue analysis reports. By about the 3rd year, you can begin to quantify increases of yield and quality parameters.

4.       How can we tell the product is working?

Refer to above questions. Soil becomes very friable, depending upon different soil types (montmorillonite, vermiculite etc). In most cases, you will notice an increase in crop quality.  Montmorillonite will show better results that the other types. However it is also contingent on particular cultural practices.

5.       What changes happen to the soil with regards to animal life such as worms, etc?

There is a common misconception that microbes eat carbon from humic. Humic functional groups create energy for microbes. Since they are comprised of nanoparticles, they create micropores, in which roots, water and nutrients reside. The other portion of the soil forms macropores  in which oxygen resides. Another change is improved aggregate stability. Humic will enhance the microbial population by providing, which helps soil health. In turn, the soil will have more beneficial fungi, bacteria, and protozoa…., thus enhancing soil health.

6.       Any possible plant side effects?

There are no possible plant side effects. According to my research, however,  if you apply more than 10 gal/acre of humic at one time, it will make plants over-activate enzymes and hormones which can result in yield reduction. This is why we don’t recommend applying more than 10 gal/acre at one time. You can apply in different intervals.

7.        Is fruit fuller? Tastier? Same?

Generally, the humic helps the plant translocation the micro-macro nutrients (especially calcium) that makes the cell walls stronger and more firm with higher quality. Some studies show that fruits are harvested 5- 10 days earlier. Many fruit growers have also reported better taste but there is no data to quantify that. With apples, there is less bitterbit.

8.       What should be the goals in using humic and fulvic acids? What are the clients expectations?

We use humic to condition the soil to create a stable humus. In all soils, according to FAO over the past 200 years, we lost stable humus. Organic acid or humic creates a stable humus by conditioning texture and enhancing soil chemistry, chelating, complexing, and buffering capacities for better soil health. Fulvic acid is the best functional carbon to use with foliar application or side-dress with the seed for better vigor and nutrient translocation. (use one quart of fulvic  which is  ¼ of humic rate per acre) For example, if you use 4 gal. humic/acre per you will get 1 qt of fulvic per acre/ application

Client expectations: Clients should be educated on how humic and fulvic works for crop production and soil health. Then they will develop their own expectations accordingly. In general, the main expectation is that the humic will enhance their soil health and ensure a good return on investment (ROI).

9.       Besides affordability, when is it not feasible to us those products for fertilization?

Based on IHSS research (which comes from many universities worldwide), results demonstrate that, applying humic substances from an economic standpoint is equally important as using micro-macronutrients for maintaining soil health and crop production. From standpoint of ROI, it enhances fertilizer and water-use efficiency, as you save on fertilizer usage. If the grower cannot afford a great deal of humic, even if he/she applies a small quantity before plant growth stages, this will still benefit the return on investment.

According to national statistics phosphorus use efficiency is between 10-30%. For example, if an average farmer applies 100 lbs per acre of phosphor, 90 lbs will be fixed (not usable) or if you are a farmer with good cultural practices, and you apply the same amount of phosphor with 30 % efficiency, it still means you will still lose 70 lbs of phosphor as locked-up, fixed, or tied-up. Using humic will enhance fertilizer use efficiency. These factors are why we think using humic just as vital as using macro-micronutrients in ensuring good ROI.

10.    What happens to the soil after repeated use?

With each year that the grower uses humic, there will be significant enhancement of soil health and crop production. Many growers have used humic for 30 years and still see the benefits. Repeated use reflects cumulative effects.

11.     Why are these products important?

Humic and fulvic are functional carbons. They help with soil aggregate stability, unlock the fixed nutrients, complex salt, buffer, chelate, and complex nutrients for better fertilizer use efficiency. They also enhance microbial activity.

12.    What do growers do now that will make them better using humic and fulvic acids?

Growers need to be educated to understand and distinguish between different types of carbons, such as functional and normal carbons. It is also vital for the grower to understand howfunctional carbons enhance soil health and nutrient availability. The best means of achieving this goal is to hold  applied workshops for the growers to demonstrate humic substances’ far-reaching physical, chemical and biological impacts in different crops under farm conditions.

13.    Could you please go over the Nitrogen formula?

To calculate:

Total N pool = residual nitrogen (ppm)from soil test + mineralized N rate pounds per acre + applied fertilizer based on crop fertility guide.
For example, if your residual N is 10 ppm (based on soil test)
10 ppm x 3.8 = 38 lbsof N per acre.
For example, if your soil test shows 1% OM,  you generally get 20 lbs of Mineralized N per acre (this may vary in different soils. Some soils may get 5 or 10 lbs for 1%).
For example, if farmer’s applied N = 100 lbs per acre, then if we equate that with the formula, the total N pool=
38 lbs per acre residual N + 20 lbs per acre of mineralized N + 100 (applied fertilizer N by grower) = 158 lbs per acre.
How to insert 14% Organic Nitrogen into this equation:
If you apply 100 lbs of Organic Nitrogen 14-0-0 it will equal to 14 lbs of organic N.
Then you can factor 14 lbs N, into the total N equation as applied N.  This provides your total organic N.