Role of Humic Acid in Improving Soil Structure and Soil Microbial Activity

Published on Dec 3rd, 2021

Natural decay of plant and animal materials produces humic and fulvic acids as the end products, Humic acid is formed through biological humification of plant and animal material through biological activity of microorganisms. Naturally humic acids are seen in soil, ocean, peat and fresh water.

Most of the plants are unable to take up the nutrients which are already present in the soil due to various reasons like the soil alkalinity, waterlogging, dryness and drought conditions, Humic acid on the other hand is very beneficial in overcoming such problems promoting the sustainable agriculture as it does not cause any harm to nature.

Plant will not be able to take up the fertilizers that we apply to the soil due to the absence of humic acid resulting in waste of time and money.

Humic acids are complex molecules which neutralizes both alkaline and the acidic soils thus regulating the soil pH, it also promotes the conversion of nutrient elements like N, P, K, Fe, Zn into available forms due to increased cation exchange capacity thus promoting growth.


Benefits of Humic Acids

Humic Acid

There are several benefits imposed by Humic acid few of them are discussed here under

Humic Acid Increases the Physical Structure of the Soil

Humic acid improves soil structure in different ways:

In light soils the humic acid increases the water holding capacity as well as the nutrients thus preventing losses of nutrients and water from the soil and promoting water and nutrient and water availability to the root zone.

In Heavy soils humic acid helps in loosening the soil which further increases the water and nutrient penetration and increases the aeration of the soil.

In addition humic acid increases resistance to drought and darkens the soil colour which further helps in absorbing the sunlight.

Humic Acid Changes the Chemical Properties of the Soil

Humic acid neutralizes acidic and alkaline soils; regulates pH-value of soils, increasing their buffering abilities; and has extremely high cation-exchange properties. Thus improving uptake of nutrients and water holding capacity.

  • Promotes plant growth with its rich organic matter
  • Increases the uptake of nitrogen by the plants.
  • Decreases the toxic substance availability in the soil

Humic Acids Biologically Stimulate Plants and Activities of Micro-organism

Humic acid encourages the activities of beneficial soil microorganisms that stimulates the plant enzymes and helps in crop production which in turn results in the following benefits

  • Increases the germination capacity of seeds in soil
  • Increases the uptake of vitamins and minerals
  • Increases the resistance against pest and diseases
  • Helps in thickening the cell wall in fruits thus improving the shelf life
  • Promoting the quality of yields , it is not just necessary to supply fertilizers to the crops for increased yields, maximum yields require humic acid, high cation exchange capacity and biological activity.


Sustainable Agriculture Practice Through Humic Acid

The ecological benefits of humic acids are many, and they provide efficient solutions for environmental challenges and environmental conservation.

Humic acid reduces the contamination of water as humic acid-rich soils support minimal nitrate leaching and maximum nutrient efficiency.

Nitrate and pesticides are prevented from combining with ground water by a well-developed root system, which is achieved by a high quantity of humic acids. Humic acids have the ability to reduce excessive salt concentration in soils. The NH4-toxicity of ammonia-based fertilisers is decreased, which is especially important for young plants

Specifically, humic acids decrease root burning, which is caused by high salt concentrations in soils following fertilisation.

Humic acids are a powerful tool for preventing soil erosion.This is achieved by increasing the ability of soil colloids to combine and by enhancing root system and plant development.

As discussed above Humic acid is used in sustainable agriculture since Organic farming is one of the several approaches found to meet the objectives of sustainable agriculture. For more information about organic farming, download the Jai Ho Kisan Mobile App, Jai Ho Kisan is the mobile application envisioned to help farmers in getting better yields., thus providing crop advisory, daily market rates, information about loans and schemes and many other valuable information related to farming.