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  • Andrew Bruex

Four Facts on Humate and Fulvic Acid Sources


Whenever you sell a product, you are putting your reputation on the line because the customer assumes you have the facts and research to back up your statements about the quality and features you guarantee.

Those facts often are hard to come by in the business of selling fulvic and humic acid amendments because there’s so much unreliable information on the internet today about their original humate sources.

To cut through the misinformation, here are a few facts on humate sources that you may find useful as you market your products:

  • All commercial humate sources do not provide the same product because humates themselves aren’t a defined mineral. Sandia National Laboratories, a highly regarded research facility funded by the federal government, defines humates as naturally occurring organic substances found in coal, lignite, shale, claystone and mudstones. Depending on where they are found, commercial humate sources differ markedly in the percentage yields and types of humic and fulvic acid, as well as other important organic compounds.

  • Humate sources are spread throughout the United States in very different geological formations. The largest commercial sources for humate are found in New Mexico, Utah, North Dakota, Wyoming and Texas, where humate sources are largely associated with nearby seams of coal and may be a byproduct of strip coal mining. Some of these operations extract Leondardite, the name given to a form of highly oxidized, low grade lignite coal. Some companies in Florida and Georgia extract humates as a byproduct of mining rutile sand. Finally, a few companies get their humate in Mississippi from shale and mudstone that formed from the prehistoric sea sediments, not directly related to coal or rutile sand.

  • Each humate source yields a different percentages and types of humic and fulvic acids, as well as other key organic compounds. As you would expect, all commercial humate mining operations do not provide the same quality of products due to the geology of their mines, and the fact that some of the products’ value may be destroyed by improper mining or processing. Humate sources and operations that yield higher percentages of the lower molecular weight humic and fulvic acids in their products provide a higher fertilizer value to the customers. Since there are no industry standards, customers need to look at whether the products have been tested by independent laboratories and what the results show.

  • AgTonik products are derived from soluble humates as opposed to raw Leonardite from Western states. AgTonik’s mine has been a small scale operation for decades as a supplier of soluble humic and fulvic acids in both dry powder and liquid extract forms, and the company is now scaling up its manufacturing to meet the higher demands for its products. Further, AgTonik employs independent laboratories using two different chemical testing methods so provide a true and consistent assays of its products to customers.


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7136 East 'N' Ave.,

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