The Benefits of Using Seaweed and Humic Acids

Seaweed extracts (SWE) and humic acids (HA) are far from the novel tools that they were 20 years ago. Many turf managers and crop growers know firsthand the benefits that they can provide. Over the last 15 or 20 years, researchers have documented these benefits, especially, as they relate to stress tolerance and better recovery from stress.

Even though we are much more aware of the benefits than we were years ago, the reasons for better plant activity are very difficult to pinpoint. We can speculate that improved plant health is the result of exogenous additions of cytokinins, auxins, polyamines, or betaines. Maybe it’s the sugar-like compounds such as mannitol. Some even speculate that better health results from the many minerals that are found in SWE and humic acids. For the turf manager, it probably makes sense to focus on the “what” instead of the “why.”

Fortunately, modern science has been up to the task and has been able to explain tangible benefits related to applications of seaweed and humic acids. Here are some of the advantages that have been identified in various unbiased research studies.

  • In several studies the production of superoxide dismutase, a plant made(endogenous) anti-oxidant, was increased with the regular applications of SWE and HA.
  • Photochemical activity, basically a measurement of active chlorophyll, is also enhanced.
  • As a result, visual quality is improved when turf receives applications of SWE and HA.
  • Some studies demonstrate better rooting with either SWE or HA applications
  • Other studies demonstrate SWE and/or HA improve heat, drought or salt tolerance.
  • And occasionally researchers showed that these biostimulant applications result in less disease incidence.

There is one other very interesting trend, which has been exposed from the many studies that have been conducted on turfgrass as well as many other plant subjects. Although HA and SWE applications alone have resulted in positive plant responses, when SWE and HA are applied in combination, results are significantly improved over either of the treatments alone.

Foliar-Pak Promote, formulated with generous levels of both SWE and HA, takes advantage of the combined effects of these two carbon sources. This combination, as well as the surfactant, complex sugars, and other additives, combine to make Provita the premier bio-nutrient product for plant health, rooting and stress reduction.

About the Author Curt Geron

I am a Foliar-Pak territory manager and the lead for Foliar-Pak product development. I’ve been with EnP Investments, the manufacturer of Foliar-Pak, for almost nine years. In addition to my responsibilities at EnP, I’ve worked as golf course superintendent and owner/operator of a lawn care company. With B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agronomy from The Ohio State University, I developed a passion for plant science and fertility. If you would like to learn more about the science behind our products or discuss practical applications for using our products to improve turfgrass and plant health, let’s connect.

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