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Which is Better: Potassium Humate or Humic Acid? A Comprehensive Guide for Agriculture

Time : 2023.07.17 Hits : 12

I. Introduction

In this article, we're going to delve into the essential components of organic fertilizers: Potassium Humate and Humic Acid.  Understanding their differences, uses, and benefits can vastly improve your agricultural knowledge and practices.

Organic agriculture has been on the rise, and with it, the use of organic fertilizers that enhance plant health and boost yields. Potassium humate and humic acid are two key ingredients that are often debated in this context. But what are they exactly, and how do they affect your plants? In this article, we'll explore the differences, uses, and benefits of these two vital components of organic farming.

II. Understanding Potassium Humate and Humic Acid

Is Humic Acid the Same as Potassium Humate?

Let's first clarify what humic acid and potassium humate are and if they are the same thing. Humic acid is a type of humic substance that makes up humus, the organic material in soil. It is derived from the decay of plant and animal matter and provides numerous benefits to plants, including nutrient retention, water retention, and improved soil structure.

On the other hand, potassium humate is a salt derived from humic acid. It is obtained by alkaline extraction of lignite, a type of brown coal. Potassium humate includes the beneficial properties of humic acid, but it's more soluble in water, making it more readily available for plant uptake. So, while potassium humate is derived from humic acid, they are not the same thing.

The Chemical Makeup of Potassium Humate and Humic Acid

Humic acid is a complex mixture of many different acids containing carboxyl and phenolate groups. This complexity makes humic acid able to form complexes with ions that plants can absorb, such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

Potassium humate, being a salt of humic acid, retains the complex structure of humic acid. Its composition includes humic acid and potassium, which is a crucial nutrient for plant growth. The potassium in potassium humate is highly beneficial to plants as it contributes to the overall vitality of the plant and enhances resistance to disease and pests.

III. The Production and Grading of Potassium Humate

How is Potassium Humate Made?

The manufacturing process of potassium humate involves treating lignite with a strong base such as potassium hydroxide. The resulting mixture is then dried and ground to create potassium humate powder. It can also be kept in a liquid form as potassium humate liquid.

What Grade is Potassium Humate?

Potassium humate grades vary according to the concentration and purity of the substance. The grade is determined by the humic acid content, with high-grade potassium humate containing 70% or more. Lesser grades may contain 50%-70% humic acid. Thigh-grade potassium humate containing 70% or more. Lesser grades may contain 50%-70% humic acid. The percentage of potassium, insoluble matter, and pH also play a role in the grading.

IV. The Use and Benefits of Humic Acid and Potassium Humate in Agriculture

Is Potassium Humate Good for Plants?

Potassium humate is excellent for plants as it provides numerous benefits, enhancing their growth and health. Its benefits include:
Enhancing Nutrient Uptake: Potassium humate enhances the uptake of nutrients by increasing the permeability of plant membranes, promoting the efficient absorption of nutrients.

Improving Soil Structure: By promoting the formation of crumb structure, it improves the aeration of soil and water holding capacity, thus benefiting root development.
Promoting Beneficial Microbial Activity: It provides a suitable environment for beneficial soil microorganisms to thrive, which in turn aids nutrient uptake and soil fertility.
Increasing Crop Yield and Quality: With its contribution to overall plant vitality, potassium humate helps to increase crop yields and improve their quality.

What is the Effect of Humic Acid and Potassium Humate?

Both humic acid and potassium humate play vital roles in improving soil fertility and plant health. They improve the structure of the soil, enhance water retention, nutrient uptake, and promote microbial activity in the soil. This leads to healthier plants and improved yields. Potassium humate, being more soluble, can be more readily available for plants, which can contribute to its efficacy.

V. How to Use Potassium Humate for Your Plants

Potassium Humate Dosage and Application Rate

Potassium humate dosage and application rate depend on the specific conditions and needs of your soil and plants. It can be applied in several ways including:
Foliar Application: Potassium humate liquid can be used as a foliar spray. This application method is efficient as it allows for direct absorption of nutrients through the leaves. The dosage is typically about 1-2 litres per acre, diluted with sufficient water.

Soil Application: Potassium humate powder or liquid can be mixed with water and applied directly to the soil. This is an effective way to improve soil structure and nutrient availability.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the accurate dosage and application rate.

Potassium Humate Fertilizer for Various Plants

Potassium humate is suitable for all kinds of plants, including crops like tobacco, fruit trees, and vegetables. It can also be applied to lawns and ornamental plants to enhance their growth and health.

VI. Humic Acid and Potassium Humate: The Price and Where to Buy

Potassium Humate Price

The price of potassium humate depends on the grade, quantity, and supplier. It's usually sold in kilograms, and the price per kg can vary significantly.

Where to Buy Potassium Humate and Humic Acid

You can purchase potassium humate from various sources:
Local Agricultural Stores: They usually carry a range of fertilizers including potassium humate.
Online Marketplaces: Websites such as Alibaba and Amazon offer a wide range of options from different manufacturers around the world.
Directly from Manufacturers: For larger quantities, it might be more cost-effective to buy directly from potassium humate manufacturers, particularly those based in China, a leading producer of potassium humate.

VII. The Future of Organic Fertilizers: Super Potassium Humate and Beyond

Looking towards the future, advanced products like super potassium humate, which contains a high concentration of active ingredients, offer even greater benefits for soil health and plant growth.

Moreover, the advent of other organic fertilizers such as K-humate, super potassium fulvic humate, and kali humate, is paving the way for sustainable and efficient agricultural practices.

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