Research conducted by Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr. Pramod Rathor in the Plant-Microbe Lab at the University of Alberta explores the effects of humic products on the growth of wheat and canola and how humic products can contribute to sustainable agricultural practices. This project is led by Dr. Malinda Thilakarathna and Dr. Linda Gorim.
Conventional agricultural practices have led to abundant use of synthetic chemicals which contribute to environmental pollution, water contamination and decreasing soil health. Natural soil amendments such as Humalite that are biostimulants can help to reduce fertilizer requirements and rebuild soil health and fertility.
The research compares seedlings of wheat and canola to seedlings grown under different concentrations of humic acid under controlled environmental conditions. Root length, surface area and volume, as well as plant biomass, all positively increased with the concentration of humic acid.
The research also compares traits of wheat plants grown under different concentrations of Humalite to determine the rate of application that is the most beneficial to the plants in conjunction with application of NPK fertilizers at the recommended rate. Applying Humalite at 400 kg/ha appeared to yield the best results for biomass, number of wheat heads and leaf chlorophyll in plants.
Application of Humalite at all rates improved the amount of total available nitrogen in soil after six to eight weeks. Ongoing and future works at the University of Alberta will continue to explore topics including wheat and canola yield, seed quality, soil microbial populations and drought stress tolerance under different concentrations of Humalite.
Humalite on your farm
A variety of research including Dr. Rathor’s has shown that Humalite can potentially increase the efficiency of fertilizers and help crops get off to a strong start. Our granular humic product is great for agricultural use and has various benefits, including enhancing microbial activity, improving water retention and increasing nutrient uptake.