Ready to Harvest Corn



Humic Acid: Humified Carbon vs. New Carbon


Based on research, humic substances are formed as follows:

  • Lignin Modification
  • Quinone Acid Interactions
  • Microbial Systheses of Aromatics
  • Sugar Amino Acid Reaction Sequences

However, it takes thousands of years of these reactions, coupled with lignin dissolution, to form large complex polymers.  These polymers have there own kenetic & bio-signatures which has allowed scientists to study the differences between Humified Carbon and New Carbon.

Analysis of Humified Carbon demonstrates the presence of over 60 different mineral elements, resulting in the excellent metal complexing properties of Humified Carbon.  Additionally, during the ecological aging process of Humified Carbon it becomes enriched with the strong physical, chemical and biological properties which give Humified Carbon it's agronomic benefits. 

New Carbon, which is making Humic & Fulvic Acids from straw, wood pulp and compost lack the dynamics of thousands of years of environmental conditioning coupled with factors such as carbon cycling.  According to research, the percentage of Humic & Fulvic Acids found in Compost (New Carbon) is 2 and 5 percent respectively.  Conversely, the percentage of Humic & Fulvic Acids found in Leonardite is 40 and 85 percent respectively.

To summarize, the natural, geophysical, geochemical and biochemical processes over long periods of time are the keys to a quality Humic or Fulvic Acid, which delivers the agronomic benefits Humates are known for.




One of the main reasons for the differences in soil carbon between organic and conventional systems is that synthetic nitrogen fertilizers degrade soil carbon. Research shows a direct link between the application of synthetic nitrogenous fertilizers and decline in soil carbon.

Scientists from the University of Illinois analyzed the results of a 50-year agricultural trial and found that synthetic nitrogen fertilizer resulted in all the carbon residues from the crop disappearing as well as an average loss of around 10,000 kg of carbon per hectare per year. This is around 36,700 kg of CO2 per hectare on top of the many thousands of kilograms of crop residue that is converted into CO2 every year. Researchers found that the higher the application of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer the greater the amount of soil carbon lost as CO2. This is one of the major reasons why most conventional agricultural systems have a decline in soil carbon while most organic systems increase soil carbon. Essentially, soils lost their " Stable" humic because of conventional agricultural practices. Which negatively impacted soils physical, chemical & biological functionalities.


The Science Behind Humates