Western Canadian farmers will soon have more information available on the benefits of Humalite, a completely natural, innovative and cost-effective soil amendment.
WestMET Ag has exclusive access to the largest Humalite deposit in the world—located in Hanna, Alta.—where the company makes granular and powdered humic products.
“Part of Humalite’s appeal is that it’s natural, rather than something you bring in from the outside or genetically modify,” says Dr. Linda Gorim.
Dr. Gorim is an assistant professor and Western Grains Research Foundation chair in Cropping Systems for the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Alberta.
To measure the benefits of applying Humalite to soil for growers, Dr. Gorim is leading a study entitled “Applying Humalite for enhancing crop production and improving soil health.”
“Local farmers have already started buying Humalite and putting it on their fields, and I’ve heard from some that say it cuts down on fertilizer use,” says Dr. Gorim. WestMET Ag’s humic products are flowable, transportable and spreadable with conventional agricultural equipment.
“This study will apply different Humalite and fertilizer rates, looking at how Humalite affects crop performance, the interaction of Humalite and soil, and the optimal Humalite rates per acre for growers,” she explains.
Dan Majeau, a third-generation grain and hog farmer in Sturgeon County, Alberta, started applying Humalite to his fields after noticing a deterioration in pH levels and growing acidity in the soil.
“In reviewing soil samples from before and after, we saw pH levels returning to normal following Humalite application and an overall improvement in soil health,” says Majeau.
Majeau found that Humalite helped to release nutrients, improved soil aeration and increased microbial activity, another component of healthy soil.
Further benefits of Humalite include reduced input costs, better water retention, increased nutrient uptake and higher yield potential. Given the recent drought and steep increase in fertilizer prices, these benefits are of particular interest to Dr. Gorim and her research team.
During a trial under dry conditions in the summer of 2021, the researchers observed that wheat plots where Humalite was applied contained less stressed plants that stood much better than their counterparts in the non-Humalite plots.
Dr. Gorim’s research will continue through 2025, evaluating the long-term effects of Humalite application rates on wheat and canola yield and quality, as well as the ideal application rate on crops under wheat-canola rotation.
WestMET Ag’s granular humic product is distributed exclusively by TopKrop Fertilizers Inc., which has dealers located across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The granular and powdered product can also be purchased directly from WestMET Ag.