Basic properties of humates and requirements for humic preparations
Agrobio – humates manufacturing company – has defined seven conceptual provisions on the fundamental properties of humates and requirements to them.
Before proceeding with the systematic presentation of theoretical and practical materials on the use of humates, we will define, based on the above data, the basic conceptual provisions that summarize the current achievements of the science on humates and set the most promising directions for new research.
1. Humates – is a unique ionic form of natural humic acids, which plays a basic role in the ecosystem "water - plant - soil" and in the terrestrial biosphere. Humates are the necessary link in the evolution of living and non-living matter, the most important factor of the life processes sustainability. As natural compounds, they are absolutely safe in the required doses, are compatible with all the elements of nutrition and plant protection. Humates have the property of a comprehensive effect targeted at the normalization and stimulation of those processes of plant life, which are inhibited or blocked by adverse environmental factors.
2. In all cases the effect of humates on a plant has a concentration optimum, in which the positive effect has a maximum level. Deviation from the optimum in one or another direction leads to a decrease in the level of positive influence. The optimal concentration and dose of humate because of one or a combination of factors depends on the characteristics of water and soil, the type of plant, climatic conditions, conditions of application and in each particular case should be determined experimentally. However, the technology of humates application is not much more complicated than of mineral fertilizers.
3. The effect of the positive influence of humates is more visible, the greater the impact of the adverse factor or the greater the deviation from optimal conditions of the plant development. The ratio of the plant characteristics level (for example, yield) after treatment with humate to the level of the same characteristics without plants treatment with humate under optimal conditions for its development is minimal and increases with the degree of deviation from them; while after treatment with humate, the plant increases its ability to withstand adverse effects, and the limits of vitality (survival) of the crop are expanding. Since the probability of the performance of one or several adverse factors from their plurality is high, the total use of humates serves as an analogue of the financial insurance for the farmer.
4. Humates have basic property of synergism when combined with mineral and organic fertilizers, minor-nutrient elements, pesticides, growth regulators and bacterial preparations. In other words, they have a universal ability to enhance the useful effect of other substances.
5. The maximum and long-lasting positive result is provided with the comprehensive effect of humates on all phases of the plant development, which is achieved by all types of plant treatment: treatment seed grains and planting stock, re-treatment of vegetative plants and soil conditioning. The most powerful effect is observed when using humates at the earliest stages of initiation, evocation and development of plants, starting from soaking (spraying) of seed grains.
6. The humate preparation should contain strong concentration of humates (not less than 70-80% in dry preparation and 10-12% in liquid form), minimal amount of ballast substances and have rather narrow limits of characteristics deviation from one batch to the other. Only in this case the planned research and reproducibility of the optimal concentration, which guarantees maximum effect, can be ensured.
In addition, the formulation should not be phytotoxic, which is provided with a solution neutral pH and toxin absence in the ballast, and should not contain heavy metals, radionuclides and pathogens. This is possible with the development of manufacturing technologies for production of low ballast and ballastless humic fertilizers of a new generation that meet modern international and national standards of quality and safety.
7. Formulation and physical form of humic preparations should provide minimum labor costs when applied in practice and allow the implementation of all commonly used treatment technologies, including the combination with treatments with other substances (mineral and organic fertilizers, plant protection products, etc.). For this, the industry should ensure the production of humates in the form of granules, powders, solutions, pastes and gels, which will allow the consumer to choose the most suitable technologies for the use of humates both separately and in combination with other preparations and fertilizers.
All the next part of our work is aimed at the proof and practical implementation of these provisions. On the one hand, as an initial practical base, we have a huge amount of experimental results for 60 years of their application, but obtained in the absence of humic preparations quality control. In addition, although the basic part of the experimental data is correct and statistically reliable, some results do not satisfy the basic requirements of the experimental research methodology, the experiments were carried out without observing the basic principle - the principle of a single distinction, and without replication, which does not allow them to be statistically assessed.