Can PURIC® Humic Acid Increase Water Holding Capacity of Soils?

June 15, 2022

Much of the west is facing water shortages and many growers will not receive full allotments of water to grow their crops. The literature is ripe with citations of humic substances and organic matter increasing soil water holding capacity, but can applications of a commercial product have a similar effect? Though the research project described below was on turf, the implication across a broader agricultural setting is worth taking note of.

Turf Research Yields Valuable Information on Water Retention in Soils
A turf research project by Jim Baird at the University of California Riverside evaluating various inputs on turf quality produced striking data on the effects of PURIC SALUTE®, high purity humic acid, with NUTRIO® UNLOCK®, bacterial soil inoculant, on soil moisture retention. PURIC SALUTE was applied at 2 quarts per acre with NUTRIO UNLOCK at 1 pint per acre every two weeks for a total of 12 applications between May and November of 2021. Evaluations were made on a biweekly basis. One of the measurements collected was Volumetric Soil Water Content (VSWC). All plots were irrigated uniformly over the course of the research project.
From the data below it is clear that the PURIC SALUTE + NUTRIO UNLOCK treatment had a positive effect on VSWC. It is also important to note that separation of means occurred after the very first application and continued for the duration of the trial. Differences were statistically significant.

The implication for growers forced to practice deficit irrigation is getting the most out of your irrigation water. More crop for the drop!

Scientific literature is abundant with citations of humic substances increasing soil water holding capacity and this is the likely cause of the observed results. This response could be particularly beneficial on coarse textured, porous soil where water retention is a challenge.




PURIC: 12% humic acid organically approved. Registered for sale in OR, CA, and AZ.
PURIC MAX: 24% humic acid organically approved for sale in all other states.
PURIC PRIME: 12% humic acid with additives for ease of blending with liquid fertilizers. For sale in OR, CA, and AZ. Not organically approved.
PURIC PRIME MAX: 24% humic acid with additives for ease of blending with liquid fertilizers. For sale in all other states. Not organically approved.
PURIC FC: 4% fulvic acid. Not for sale in CA and OR.
PURIC SALUTE: 8% humic acid with patented Fluid Carbon® Technology for unparalleled compatibility including acidic fertilizers and liquid calcium fertilizers.
PURIC WSG: 0-0-12 water soluble granular formulation containing 67% refined humic acid.

Talk to your Wilbur-Ellis agronomist for the choice that best fits your needs!

Carl Bruice // National Nutrition Technical Manager