Humic and Fulvic acids are complex organic substances that play significant roles in soil properties, plant growth, and crop physiology. These acids enhance nutrient availability and are often combined with fungicides or liquid nitrogen. 

In this article, we will delve into the distinctive functions of humic and fulvic acids, highlighting their benefits for agriculture. Farmers can optimize soil health, nutrient uptake, and crop productivity by understanding their unique properties and applications.

1. Soil Fertilization: Enhancing Soil Health and Fertility

Humic acids, found in soil, peat, coal, and composts, are vital components of humus, the major organic fraction of the substances. They are also present in upland streams, dystrophic lakes, and ocean water. Humic acids are released into the soil by decomposing dead plants and animal matter by microbes.

One of the key functions of humic acids is their role as natural chelators. They bind to minerals and nutrients, making them more soluble and easily absorbable by plants. This ability allows farmers to stretch their existing fertilizer schedules further, as humic acids enable plants to access and utilize nutrients that would otherwise remain unavailable. Fulvic acid, a water-soluble portion of humic acids, exhibits even stronger complexation to metal ions and acts as a “railcar,” transporting minerals to plant root cells and throughout the plant.

2. Water Retention: Optimizing Moisture Levels in Soil

Humic acid, an organic compound, improves the soil’s water retention capacity. Its presence allows the soil to retain moisture for longer periods, reducing the need for frequent watering. Additionally, humic acid functions as a chelating agent, binding with minerals and other nutrients in the soil. This improves their absorbability, ensuring that plants can effectively utilize the available resources. By optimizing moisture levels and enhancing nutrient uptake, humic acid helps farmers maximize their existing fertilizer schedules and boost crop yields.

With its open carbon structure and low molecular weight, Fulvic acid possesses excellent water solubility. It can dissolve heavy metals and other toxic compounds, effectively detoxifying the soil. Furthermore, fulvic acid found in substances like shilajit has been found to promote plant growth by stimulating the production of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme that reduces free radical damage to cells and tissues. It also facilitates the dissolution and availability of vitamins, coenzymes, auxins, hormones, and natural plant antibiotics.

3. Root Growth: Nurturing Strong and Resilient Plants

Developing a well-established root system is vital for producing healthy and high-quality crops. Humic acid plays a crucial role in stimulating root growth by promoting the growth of new cells and increasing cell size. By fostering robust root development, humic acid enhances the plant’s ability to access nutrients and water, resulting in stronger and more resilient crops.

Humic acid serves as a natural soil fungicide. It binds with pathogenic microorganisms, inhibiting reproduction and spreading. It’s especially important when controlling the spread of diseases. By safeguarding plant health through root growth stimulation and pathogen control, humic acid plays a vital role in optimizing crop performance.

Humic Acid

Fulvic acid, on the other hand, complements humic acid by increasing the availability of micronutrients in the plant. Due to its smaller molecular size, fulvic acid is easily absorbed by plant cells, facilitating efficient nutrient uptake. It acts as a precursor to humic acid, contributing to soil health and crop yield by activating enzymes and aiding the absorption of nutrient ions locked within the soil.

4. Plant Growth: Enhancing Nutrient Bioavailability

Humic acid serves as an effective chelator, improving the bioavailability of nutrient molecules. Its functional groups act as “claws,” binding to mineral ions strongly enough to prevent them from reacting with other compounds and becoming insoluble. However, they release the nutrients on demand, allowing minerals to enter plant cells, where they serve as essential carbon and energy sources.

Fulvic acid, also known as shilajit, is a more plant-active form of humic acid. It possesses smaller particles that can penetrate more deeply into the mitochondria of plant cells. By increasing energy levels and assisting in removing harmful substances, fulvic acid supports overall plant health and vigor.

Applying both humic and fulvic acids can enhance plant growth by increasing the amount of organic matter in soils. These beneficial substances can be incorporated into the soil through composting processes or applied as foliar treatments. Conducting split field experiments to evaluate the impact of humic and fulvic acids on crop health and yield can provide valuable insights for farmers.


Humic and fulvic acids offer distinctive benefits for agriculture, supporting healthy plant growth, nutrient absorption, and soil fertility. By incorporating these organic substances into fertilization practices, farmers can optimize soil health, enhance water retention, stimulate robust root growth, and promote efficient nutrient uptake. Harnessing the power of humic and fulvic acids unlocks the full potential of crops, ensuring sustainable and high-yield agricultural practices.

Take your agricultural practices to new heights with Fabian Seed Farms Inc. As a trusted humic and fulvic acid-based product provider in Alberta, we offer premium-quality solutions to optimize soil health, enhance nutrient absorption, and promote robust crop growth. Discover the transformative power of our organic substances and unlock the full potential of your crops. Visit Fabian Seed Farms today and experience the difference in sustainable agriculture.

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How to Use Humic Acid Fertilizer to Improve Soil