The electrical features of Humates influence known chemical reactions. Both groups of complex organic acids, humic acids and fulvic acids have been proven to be involved in three specific chemical reactions.
These reactions are commonly termed: (1) electrostatic (columbic) attraction (2) complex formation or chelation, and (3) water bridging.
Electrostatic attraction of trace minerals reduces leaching into subsoil. The cation is readily available in the soil environment for transport into the plant roots or exchanged for another metal cation.
Electrically charged sites on humic substances function to dissolve and bind trace minerals. This is termed chelation. Evidence for the dissolution of minerals can be supported by x ray diffraction and infrared analysis. Chelation of plant nutrients such as iron (Fe), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), and calcium (Ca) reduces their toxicity as cations, prevents their leaching, and increases their uptake rate by plant roots.
The chelation process also increases the mass flow of micronutrient mineral elements to the roots.
The chelation of heavy toxic metallic elements present within the soil is also influenced by humic substances present. When toxic heavy metals such as mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), and cadmium (Cd) are chelated these organo metal complexes become less available for plant uptake.
Water bridging is an important function of humic and fulvic acids. Water bridging is believed to improve the mobility of nutrient ions through the soil solution to the root. These mechanisms also help reduce leaching of plant nutrients into the subsoil.
The humic will grab and hold newly applied fertiliser just as it frees up and holds minerals already in the soil. In this way, less is lost to the environment and more is made available to the plant.
Fungi and fulvic in HuMates also greatly increase the transfer of minerals into the plant.
Extending UreaThere is no doubt that nitrogen boosts plant growth and of course growth is nothing more than cell production. As new cells form, they look for calcium to help with cell structure and if they cannot find it they take up water instead.
This is why grass generated by heavy applications of urea has no strength and is watery, producing watery excrement. Crops will be the same and drying them out will show this as their size shrinks more than it should.
As a result animals and humans need to eat more of this kind of growth to get the same levels of goodness contained in non-N boosted plants.
Urea is also notoriously short acting and by the end of a week, it has gone from the soil and what plants could not take up has been lost to the waterways and atmosphere. Nitrogen, along with potassium, is water soluble and easily washed out of the soil.
In addition to polluting waterways, farm emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas much more potent that carbon dioxide – account for about a sixth of national emissions, twice as much as produced by all the gas and coal burned in power stations. Agricultural gases, which are about two-thirds methane and one-third nitrous oxide, are just under half New Zealand’s emissions.
Perhaps the most dramatic impact of HuMates is on urea because it will hold and slow release the nitrogen, leading to much higher (greater than 40%) dry matter and MORE volume. You can either reduce the amount of urea you apply or get more production from your current application.
Soils have a cation exchange capacity (CEC) rating that indicates its ability to hold and exchange plant nutrient cations. In simpler language, it is a measure of the soil’s ability to hold the fertiliser you apply (instead of it being leached) and transfer it to plants.
In most soils the CEC rating is 12-14 but in sandy soils it can be 1-2.
In peat it is 40-50 because there is a close correlation between the holding ability and how much carbon and humus is in the soil. Humates generally have a CEC of 200 and our HuMates has one of about 250.
By adding HuMates you will improve the holding capacity of any soil with a low CEC rating.