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What are some agricultural uses of humic acid?

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Quick Answer

An extremely bio-chemically active material, humic acid is an excellent conditioner for organically-deficient soils and has a beneficial impact on the growth and cultivation of crops, flowers and turf. It is not a single acid but a mixture of many different acids that are present in the organic constituents of soil, peat, coal and even water basins.

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Full Answer

The process by which humic acid and its compounds are formed in soil by plant residues is known as “humification.” It is not a fertilizer but rather a complement to it. With regular use of humic acid, the soil and plant may be better able to utilize the fertilizer, reducing the frequency and need for more fertilization. By helping to increase fertilizer retention and the plant’s uptake of necessary organic nutrients, humic acid improves growth and development.

Humic acid also sets up a virtuous cycle by stimulating the activity of beneficial soil microbes which leads to the formation of more “humus” or organic matter in the soil and consequently more humic acid.

Humic acid works with different types of soils, including clay and sand. Its addition to tight, compacted clay soil breaks up the soil, improves water penetration and promotes better development of roots. Sandy soils are deficient in organic material and hence very poor at retaining water. Adding humic acid corrects this deficiency and makes the soil better able to retain water and essential nutrients for better root growth.

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