As I begin to write, I’m reminded of an excerpt from Ode to the West Wind — “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” Well, spring is certainly not far behind, especially for those of us working in the agriculture sector.
Winter can be a tricky time for growers, as many of them face numerous challenges to prep their soil for the next season. Healthy soil is the foundation of growing healthy crops, and this fact stands tall irrespective of the season or time of the year. When you have healthy soil, any crop you grow in it will look good, taste better, and be of higher quality. If your soil is weak and lacks nutrients, then external factors such as climate, location, etc. hold more power over the crop.
Over the years, I have observed many growers who believe that once the soil temperatures dip below 45°F, biological activity comes to a halt and the soil and all its life forms lie dormant through winter. Yes, winter can be tough on the soil, but with a little help and with the right products it can be rebuilt and nourished. Timing also plays crucial role in determining the results: the sooner we start prepping for winter, the better the results will be for spring.
Huma® offers a complete range of sustainable products, carbon-complexed with Micro Carbon Technology®, that can help build the soil during all seasons. I’m sharing three hand-picked products that growers can apply now to prep for spring planting. These products work well for several crops including corn, wheat, soybeans, fruits, and vegetables.
Huma® Fertil Humus® is a high efficiency product that primarily generates and builds long-term humus in the soil. It directly impacts nutrient cycling, reduces toxicity, and promotes the breakdown of crop residue in the soil. Cold temperature depletes the existing humus in the soil and inhibits the formation of new humus, that’s when adding a round of Fertil Humus® can help. Applying it during the fall allows it to degrade any crop residue and convert it to humus over the winter.
An additional benefit of Fertil Humus® is that it naturally enhances the water holding capacity of the soil. This is especially significant in dry land situations. If a field has areas or patches that are not holding water very well and are having a lot of run-off, then applying this product is a wise thing to do.
Ground and screened to a uniform humate chip containing less than 3% dust, Huma® OM 1-3mm is one of the many highly concentrated natural humic and fulvic acid products, or biostimulants, available in the Huma® line. It is a 60%–70% humic/fulvic acid that can be applied to all soils—broadcast in fall, post-harvest, or early spring—either pre-plant or with seed to increase overall soil health.
It is an excellent product to boost the microbial life and soil fertility. You’ll notice an improvement in overall crop quality and yield as this product also increases plant nutrient availability and uptake, supports root development, and improves root mass and growth.
OM 6 mm(-)
Huma® OM 6mm(-) is ground and screened to a particle size of 6 mm and contains less than 40% dust). Just like OM 1-3mm, it is a 60%–70% humic/fulvic acid and is ideal for spreading on and incorporating into soil. These two products differ in size but perform the same functions and are equally beneficial, depending on the specific needs of the soils.
As a former grower and Huma® user, I can share from my experience that these natural soil fertility products can really assist in bringing worn out, depleted, tired soil back to life—it’s just remarkable to see the changes!
- Avoid tilling the soil, especially during unfavorable climatic conditions. It not only disrupts the soil microbiology, but also breaks up the roots that binds the soil in place.
- Get your soil tested, ideally at the onset of fall, by a professional to determine the missing nutrients or to uncover any other issue that may hinder crop growth. Periodic testing costs money but can be beneficial in the long run.
- To improve the soil during winter, less is more. Stick to a few quality products and allow them to transform the soil with minimum disruptions.
For more information on Huma® products, visit www.huma.us.