Next Article in Journal
Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) Identification in the Progeny of a Polycross
Previous Article in Journal
Evidence for Heterosis in Italian Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) Based on Inbreeding Depression in F2 Generation Offspring from Biparental Crosses
Previous Article in Special Issue
Replenishing Humic Acids in Agricultural Soils
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Agronomy 2016, 6(4), 50; doi:10.3390/agronomy6040050

Commercial Humates in Agriculture: Real Substance or Smoke and Mirrors?

1
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
2
South Australian Research and Development Institute, Plant Genomics Centre, Waite Campus, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mike McLaughlin
Received: 27 September 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 26 October 2016 / Published: 28 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Commercial Humates in Agriculture)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [211 KB, uploaded 28 October 2016]

Abstract

Soil humic substances (HS) are known to be beneficial for soils and plants, and most published studies of HS and humates, usually conducted under controlled conditions, show benefits. However, the value of commercial humate application in the field is less certain. This review attempts to answer the question: How effective are commercial humates in the field? Commercial humates, especially K humate, are used widely in agriculture today as “soil conditioners”. A wide range of benefits is claimed, including growth of beneficial soil microbes; deactivation of toxic metals; improvements in soil structure including water retention capacity, enhanced nutrient and micronutrient uptake and photosynthesis; resistance to abiotic stress, including salinity; and increased growth, yield and product quality. Despite this, there is a surprising lack of solid evidence for their on-farm effectiveness and findings are often inconsistent. The industry relies largely on anecdotal case studies to promote humates, which are often applied at unrealistically low levels. It is recommended that products should be well characterised, physically and chemically, and that careful field studies be conducted on foliar humate application and pelletised humates at realistic rates, targeted to the seedling rhizosphere, for a variety of crops in a range of soils, including low C sandy and saline soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: commercial humates; potassium humate; humic substances; abiotic stress; plant growth; yield; lignite; agriculture commercial humates; potassium humate; humic substances; abiotic stress; plant growth; yield; lignite; agriculture
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Lyons, G.; Genc, Y. Commercial Humates in Agriculture: Real Substance or Smoke and Mirrors? Agronomy 2016, 6, 50.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Agronomy EISSN 2073-4395 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top