Humic Products: Potential or presumption for agriculture

· NSW Agriculture
8 reviews

About this ebook

A range of products, often referred to as alternative fertilisers, are marketed with numerous claims relating to soil health and improved plant growth. However, there is often an absence of evidence about the veracity of the claims and the effectiveness of these products. Producers and consumers alike are left to rely on the advertised promises which come with little proof.

One common group of alternative fertilisers are the humic products that are often sold as soil amendments with or without accompanying plant nutrients. More than 200 humic products are currently manufactured and sold in Australia. Thousands more are available for purchase via overseas websites. Is there a place for humic products in Australian agriculture? Do they have the potential to realise at least some of the advertised claims or are these benefits merely presumption on the part of manufacturers?

This technical bulletin ‘Humic products – Potential or presumption for agriculture’ is the first in a series that will cover a range of alternative fertiliser products. Written and produced by NSW Department of Primary Industries, these reports ask two basic questions:

Can the product work? Given our current understanding of the physical, chemical and biological mechanisms that interact in soil-plant ecosystems, can we explain how the product functions?

Does the product work? Is there sufficient evidence from independent trials that the product will work under field conditions?

This publication is written primarily for agronomists, soil scientists, consultants and other farm advisors. However, the readable style, explanations and diagrams provided by the author, Kim Billingham, make it accessible for others with a more rudimentary understanding of the soil and plant sciences. ‘A brief history of humus’ will engage readers from both conventional and more alternative philosophies as we all work towards farming in a more sustainable manner.

Ratings and reviews

8 reviews
Sunil Kalambhe
June 7, 2017
Very good .
1 person found this review helpful
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Anil Das
July 11, 2023
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Kenneth Baylosis
June 26, 2019
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