Humate Plus - Humic Acid

 A concentrated liquid source of humic acids extracted from high-quality lignite.

Contains 16% - 18% HA (by weight) and high in humic acids.


 APPLICATION RATES: 1 pint-1 gal. per acre as a foliar application, 2 - 3 times per growing season recommended for row crops and forages. Used in foliar, drip, irrigation & side-dress apps. Specific application data avail. upon request.

 PACKAGING: 275 gal totes, 55 gal drums, 5 gal pails, 1 galonl jugs and in quarts (additional sizing available upon request)

 The Importance of Humus

Soil humus is so important in garden and crop production that the necessity of maintaining adequate concentrations of it in productive soils has been recognized and emphasized by agriculturists for many years. Agronomic research has investigated humic substances and gathered scientific data on them since the late 1960’s OLP.


Humic matter is continuously being created, and destroyed in soils under natural conditions. The most active portions are decomposed first. Soils cultivated over long periods of time with only NPK as inputs have only the humus additions that are formed from any crop residues left behind, which, in humid areas, is generally less than the native vegetation used to provide.


Crop rotation, planting of legumes, plowing under green manures & cover crops, application of animal manures, compost, or the use of expensive organic fertilizers are all methods of increasing levels of humus in the soil. Humus, in turn makes humic acids available to do the work of building soil structure and providing other, more direct, benefits to plants.


A More Cost-effective Solution

Naturally-occurring geological deposits of organic material exist which contain concentrated extractable Humic Acids in the form of oxidized lignite, or Humates.


ProActive Agriculture Humates are mined from the highest quality deposits, processed and made available to the agricultural industry so that every grower can take advantage of nature’s storehouse of Humic Acid. Application of Humates to almost any type of crop will help to compensate for lost productivity that occurs with soil humus losses, and will help to speed the  process of building up necessary reserves of humus in agricultural soils under good management.



Humic Acids in the soil serve numerous functions. Among the most significant are:

  • Physical modification of soil structure, increasing soil aggregate stability, and thus improving water infiltration, aeration, soil tilth and workability, and reducing erosion losses from runoff.

  • Breaking down soil primary minerals, releasing elements as available nutrients, holding nitrogen in reserve in the soil, making it available to plants over time.

  • Providing the environment and stimulus for microbial activity

  • Organically complexing nutrients, making them bio-available to plants

  • Increasing root growth, root penetration and chlorophyll density, thus aiding in photosynthesis.

  • Substantially increasing proteins, fiber, and sugars thus improving quality and yield.

  • Demonstrated Improvement in Commercial Crops


Humic Acids, in the form of Humates or in liquid form (extracted from Humates), when applied to almost any crop will help to increase quality and yield. Improvements have been documented in carrots, corn, citrus, cotton, fruit trees, grains, hay, melons, potatoes, rice, soy beans, sugar beets and sugar cane, just to name a few. 


Economic Benefits

There is no better way to enhance the economics of farming than to build soil humus and enhance natural processes, such as microbial activity, that can be sustained over a long productive life. Building levels of natural Humic Acids has been shown to reduce the need for commercial fertilizers, because of improved fertilizer use efficiency. This benefit alone will reduce waste and the environmental concern of leaching fertilizers and pesticides into the water table and surface waters. Reduction in tillage costs, improved water utilization and increases in plant quality and yields will have a direct impact on your bottom line!


Humic Acids and Fulvic Acids

Thus far we have only talked about humus and its active component, Humic Acid. A further subdivision of Humic Acids can be made based on molecular weight. Lighter molecular weight organic acids of the Humic Acid group are called Fulvic Acids. Thus, you will sometimes hear reference to both Humic Acids and Fulvic Acids. They are collectively referred to as Humic Acids and are both contained in natural soil humus. However, here is a useful way to understand the differences.


Humic Acids

Humic Acids and their salts are large organic molecules that are not soluble in strongly acid solutions (or soils). Humic Acids have a high cation exchange capacity (300 - 700 mg/100g), and hold lots of nutrients in reserve this reserve releases nutrients slowly, but continuously to plants. Humic Acids can slowly decompose primary soil minerals, releasing nutrients from the crystal structures. 


Humic Acids reduce toxicities from metals and pesticides by absorption (remove from solution); bind fat-soluble compounds, bind soil particles together (clay-organic matter complexes) to increase soil structure, reduce crusting and improving aeration. Except for the smallest molecules, Humic Acids will not leach.


Smaller molecules of Humic Acids behave much like Fulvic Acids, are soluble at normal pH ranges in soil, make nutrients highly available, can leach, and can be absorbed by plant roots. Soluble Humic Acids also stimulate root and top growth, nutrient uptake & chlorophyll production, and stimulate but do not feed soil micro-organisms.


Fulvic Acids

Fulvic Acids and their salts - stay in solution, even in strongly acidic conditions.  The molecules are smaller than most Humic Acid molecules, and have the strongest hormone-like effect on plants and soil microorganisms. Fulvic acids complex inorganic nutrients and keep these nutrients in solution until plant uptake. These acids also have a strong ability to bring back into solution otherwise insoluble fractions of metal micronutrients and phosphorus.  They can attack soil mineral surfaces and cause them to release nutrients from the crystal structure - especially important in soils with low organic matter and low in metal micronutrients.  They have the highest cation exchange capacity (500 - 1100 mg/100g).  Unfortunately they can leach down and out of the soil profile in wetter climates, under heavy irrigation and under poor or inefficient water management.


It is highly desirable to have a significant portion of the Humic Acids in the form of Fulvic Acid due to the important qualities listed above, including the hormone-like effect on plants and micro-organisms, and the strong ability to bring into solution the otherwise insoluble metal micro-nutrients and phosphorus. These properties work very quickly in the soil and show an almost immediate positive effect on most crops.


ProActive Agriculture Humates have a significant portion of Fulvic Acid fraction (estimated at up to 30%), thus making them much more valuable to the grower. It is this difference that sets our Humates apart from those mined in other areas, particularly the North Dakota deposits. This difference will result in a direct competitive advantage in your crops versus crops raised either without Humic Acids or with products containing less Fulvic Acid. 


Application Rates

Solid Humates applied to soils at rates starting from about 40-250 lbs/acre (250 lbs/acre first time for soils with low humus levels) will help strengthen soil structure by binding particles together, enabling increased aeration, & root penetration. They will also increase the buffering properties of the soil, increase the nutrient holding capacity and directly stimulate plant root and top growth, increasing yields via the slow release of auxin-like growth stimulators.


Humates also provide a hormone-like stimulation of soil microorganisms that compete with or antagonize plant pathogenic microorganisms. This, together with other cultural strategies, will reduce the incidence of soil-borne diseases, including nematodes.


In low organic matter soils, a carbon source is needed to feed these microbes.  The best is cured compost (1 ton or more per acre, per year), also supplies beneficial soil organisms.  Manure, crop residues, and most other quickly decomposable types of biomass will also feed soil organisms. Cover crops & green manures are also effective.


Foliar Feeding vs Soil Applied Humates

Humic Acid (soil applied or foliar) will stimulate plant root and top growth. The effects of foliar applied Humic Acid overlap with soil applied Humates. Some benefits are best obtained by foliar applications, while others can be accomplished by soil applications.  Both are needed for best performance on soils of low to moderate fertility & organic matter levels.


What do foliar applied Humic Acids do compared to soil applied Humates? Both soil and foliar applied Humates will make plant roots more efficient at absorbing the nutrients already in the soil solution; stimulate top and root growth, and chlorophyll production. Foliar applied Humic Acids will do a better job of providing modest protection against foliar diseases, if left on leaves, and applied regularly over the growing season. Foliar applied liquid Humates will do a better job of reducing transpiration water losses and provide a better environment for good microorganisms on leaf surfaces than soil applied Humates.

Effective foliar amounts applied are small: 1/2 - 2 lbs./acre (1 - 2 pints) low humus soils need as much as 1-10 gallons per acre, but must be done at least three times a season for continuous benefits. 


Foliar applied liquid Humic Acid will not make soil nutrients much more available - there just isn't enough applied to do the job. Soil applied dry Humates will increase nutrient availability, because they are applied at rates from about 40 lbs./acre to 250 lbs./acre, compared to the half- pound or so of actual humate per gallon of liquid formulations.


Soil applied Humates do a much better job stimulating the soil micro-organisms that compete with or antagonize plant pathogenic microorganisms, and significantly increase soil structure or aeration at the rates applied.


Liquid formulations don't have humin - the solid stuff that never goes into solution.  Humin molecules are relatively large in size and are able to hold a lot of water. These never leach away, and like Humic Acids, can bind and prevent the leaching and reduce the toxicities of fat-soluble compounds (like oils and some pesticides).


Whatever you do, buy only quality Humic Acid product and be sure to look for those containing significant amounts of the all-important Fulvic Acid for the best results on your crops!


HUMATE PLUS Humates are known throughout the U.S. and around the world for quality, consistency and results!