What are Humates?
DAVE WHITTEKER of ‘Humate Solutions’ explains the power of Humates.
Whether your livelihood depends on growing crops or pasture, creating the right soil conditions for optimum growth is vital. And that’s where humates come in.
When combined with fertiliser programmes, humates have been shown to provide a significant increase in crop yields and pasture production. They can improve root development, total leaf area and total crop yields per hectare.
The material greatly improves soil quality and releases lockedin minerals for uptake by plants. When mixed with fertiliser or lime, humates hold on to those nutrients until plants require them, reducing loss into the environment.
Humates have been shown to consistently improve the uptake of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and iron, as well as all the trace elements essential for plant health.
Life forms such as bacteria and earthworms, which depend on humus content, contribute strongly to the maintenance of the soil structure and the use of humates can also prevent soil cracking, which exposes roots to the air and can cause crops to burn in severe heat conditions. Since organic matter is not water soluble, soil with high humus content is less likely to be subject to water erosion.
Humates can hold up to 20 times their weight in water and by enhancing the soil’s ability to retain water, can reduce the need for crop irrigation.
Growers who use humates can usually cut back on fertiliser, especially nitrogen, by up to 25 per cent. In many cases it is possible to cut back 50 per cent or more on phosphate. That’s because use of humates promotes more and deeper root growth and increased biological activity to release nutrients.