Are All Humic Acids Created Equal?

Recycling is what our planet does best. And nowhere is that more evident than in the creation of humus from the decay of all organic matterHumus is an extraordinarily complex material that contains humic and fulvic acids. Soil fungi and many millions of other microorganisms in the soil depend on humus for food.  Humus can be produced by any decaying matter: a compost pile, mound of wood mulcha peat bog, or mined as leonardite, which is organic matter that has not reached the consistency of coal but is mined where seams of soft brown coal are found. These forms of humus are not created equal. A compost pile, for example, must be completely decomposed before it is humus – rich, dark brown, crumbly soil that smells like…well, soil.   

Humus is commonly found in all soils, peats, bodies of freshwater, and oceans. Its structureare microscopic but are absolutely necessary for healthy soil and plants. Approximately 60% of soil organic matter consists of humus. Although organic matter may be found in your soil it may not contain enough humus for healthy plant growth.  Humic Land has been developed to meet that deficiency. Nitrogen is one nutrient that may be in your soil but unavailable to plantsActive microbial communitiesin your soil are necessary for plant and soil health.  HumicLandis not fertilizer but stimulates microbial activity so that nutrients are easily taken up by plants. Humic acid is only one portion of the humic substances available in peat or leonardite.  Fulvic acid is also created when peat and leonardite are processed. 

How Are Peat and Leonardite Processed? 

The environmental impact from mining leonardite is significant.  Leonardite mines, although sometimes shallow, through the process of mining become devoid of vegetative growth. Afront-end loaders dig down 20 feet to reach the leonardite deposits they leave mounds of soil and large cavities where the leonardite once was. Large machinery and trucks also compact the soil around the area, making it much harder for vegetation to re-establish itself. Leonardite is associated with soft brown coal seams which is at times mined as a fuel. In Eastern Europe soft coal is mined frequently so the surface mining of leonardite turns into a large open-pit mine. Because it is so close to the surface leonardite becomes highly oxidized and is no use as a fuel.  The oxidation process which makes leonardite otherwise a waste product of a coal mine has been recognized by farmers as a beneficial soil amendment. 

Humic Acids from Leonardite 

The production of leonardite into humic acid leaves both an open mining pit and, depending on the type of processing, a chemically treated productThis humic acid does improve the soil but at what environmental cost? 

Humic Acids from Peat Bogs 

Peat bogs are fragile ecosystems.  They take thousands of years to develop, and overuse destroys not only the bog but entire wildlife habitats.  

The production process of Humic Land is environmentally sustainable and offers renewability for peat bogs. The peat that has decayed on the surface of the bog is extracted, leaving vegetation as intact as possible.

The production process of Humic Land is environmentally sustainable and offers renewability for peat bogs. The peat that has decayed on the surface of the bog is extracted, leaving vegetation as intact as possible.

Is There A Non-Chemical Method to Derive Humic Acids? 

Yes and No.  Humic acid is one component of the humus found in peat bogs and leonarditeHumic acid gives long-term benefits to your soil. Fulvic acid is highly water-soluble and has much smaller molecular size than humic acid. Its molecules are so small they can enter the pores of a plant root, taking needed nutrients with them. Both humic and fulvic acids are needed for short-term crop growth and long-term soil fertility. Our productHumic Land, has a complete humic substance profile, it is a gooey gel that is completely water-soluble.  It gives the needed humus to your soil while maintaining the integrity of the peat bog.   

A peat bog that is sustainably managed retains the plant cover, wildlife habitat, and characteristics necessary for future peat production.  

Leonardite that is mined and ground has all the humic substances intact with no questionable chemical residue. 

The question – is it better stewardship of the earth to strip-mine leonardite or gently extracted from a peat bog?

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to read our blogs. Complete the form on the top right of this page. 

Get our blogs about soil health & regenerative farming straight to your inbox.

Follow us

and find original content on soil health and regenerative farming


Call for Price

I agree to my email being stored and used to receive the newsletter.