Humic and Fulvic Acids For Soil Health

Humic and Fulvic Acids For Soil Health

Humic and Fulvic acids are the building blocks of healthy soil. While they both originate from humus, they play very different roles. Working in tandem, Humic and Fulvic acids create great benefits for your farm. They create healthy microbe-rich soil, increase plant health, and improve crop yields.

These acids are not only in the soil, they are in the gut biomes of us all. When you spread manure or compost, the microbes that began the decomposition process in the intestines of your cow or other livestock are deposited in the soil. If there are no toxic chemicals to destroy them, they multiply and start creating humus. Within this highly decomposed organic matter is where you will find Humic and Fulvic Acids. It is difficult to separate these two compounds because they exist in a dynamic state of flux.

Let’s take a look at their characteristics and how each contributes to your farm profit.

The Benefits Of Humic Acid For Crop Yields

A molecule of Humic Acid is large by molecular standards. It is a soil conditioner that increases your soil’s ability to retain nutrients and water. It acts as a chelating agent, binding nutrients to each Humic acid molecule until it is needed by your plants. While the molecule is too large to penetrate plants, it has a variety of other benefits:

  • It helps increase the permeability of the cell wall so the Fulvic acid can deliver its benefits
  • Bonds with soil nutrients and makes them plant soluble
  • Stimulates microbial activity in the soil
  • Chelate toxic metals so they don’t end up in your plants
  • Help increase water retention in sandy soils
  • Open up clay soil pores for water infiltration
  • Improve seedling health and plant response to stress
  • Creates a better cation exchange capacity (CEC) and also has buffering capabilities

This may sound like a miracle cure for an unproductive farm, but Humic Acid does not work alone. It is a team player with organic matter, your crops, the microbial community, and its right-hand partner Fulvic Acid.

The Benefits Of Fulvic Acid On Your Farm

If we think of Humic Acid as the big guy, Fulvic Acid is the much smaller counterpart. A molecule of Fulvic Acid is 1/10th the size of a Humic Acid molecule. Because of its small size there are a number of ways Fulvic Acid can benefit your farm.

  • It is always water-soluble, whether your soil is acidic, alkaline, or in between
  • Can carry and deliver 10 times its weight worth of nutrients through the plant cell membrane
  • Acts as a bio stimulant to improve seed germination
  • Decreases water stress
  • Is an organic, natural electrolyte that balances cell life
  • Oxygen absorption in the soil is increased, promoting plant growth

It is very useful in a foliar spray due to the small size of the molecule, carrying the nutrients easily into the plant cells. Fulvic acid attracts metal ions, making it a good addition as a soil drench when a plant needs extra iron, aluminum, or copper. It is advisable to do a soil analysis, as this will give you valuable information about all micronutrients present in your soil.

Fulvic Acid And Humic Acid – The Benefits Of Working As A Team

Of course, you really cannot separate Fulvic from Humic acid – even in a laboratory, this would present great challenges. Thankfully, they work so well together that you would never want to do so. One of the biggest benefits of both Humic and Fulvic acids is the increase of root mass even at low concentrations.

Farmer holding cilantro roots that show a clear difference between root mass in a control group vs increased root mass with added Humic & Fulvic acid


Increased root mass allows plants to acquire more macro and micronutrients in the soil to pass on to the leaves and fruit. According to the Iowa State University Extension the increased root growth also “…may improve plant resistance to disease, and plant response to feeding by herbivores and nematodes, and water stress caused by drought.” Root mass is critical to productive crops. The greater the root mass, the stronger the microbial community. Plants give off exudates from their roots, feeding the microbes, who in turn bring the plant needed nutrients.

You Don’t Need Much For Beneficial Results

Many studies have proven that using too much Humic acids have no benefit. In fact, “…use of these compounds [humic and fulvic acids] at high concentrations have been shown to decrease root and shoot growth,” Iowa State University studies showed. Fulvic and Humic acid are often added to a fertilizer application. Be sure and discuss amounts of fertilizer with your crop consultant because Humic Acids make nutrients more plant available. In some cases, less is more.

The Benefit To Your Farm?

You don’t have to spend very much to get a large ROI. With proper soil management, you should be able to decrease your inputs while maintaining crop yields and farm profits.

Sometimes great benefits come in small packages, which is the case for Humic and Fulvic Acid. Humic Land™ is formulated to give you the correct amount of both Fulvic and Humic acid to create a lively microbial community that will increase your soil and plant health. This results in a decreased need for other inputs, as the Humic acids are providing food for the microbial army in your soil.

If you are looking for a similar solution on a smaller scale, perhaps for your garden, homestead or even houseplants - Kaytonik™ is formulated for home use, with the same soil-building benefits.

Posted in: Humic Acids, Soil For Humanity

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