Soil productivity is defined by its Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)

The CEC is directly depending of the humus level of the soil (organic matter) and the soil pH. A good fertile soil has a CEC over 300 mmol/100 grams. A leached soil may have a CEC as low as 50 mmol/100 grams.

All soils with high CEC are rich in humus substances and organic matter. A humus rich soil needs on average 50% less nutrients, compared to a leached soil, to be able to yield the same crops, and has a multiple lower nitrogen leakage.

All soils with a low CEC are dependent on chemical fertilizers to produce good yields. The lower the CEC, the greater the amount of applied nitrogen is leached into nature. Soils with a low CEC also have poor ability to absorb water and become sensitive to drought

“The ability of the soil to absorb water and nutrients in the root zone, so that the microlife and plants can utilize them.”

Fred CunninghamCo-founder, EcoFarma

CEC – how it works

Humates and fulvates are liquid compost – with extremely high CEC

Humates have a CEC of between 400 – 600 mmol and Fulvates a CEC of 1200 – 1500 mmol. When applied they greatly increase the soil’s ability to bind and make nutrients available.

They are also a source of food and fuel for the soil microbes. When the microbes break down the humic substances, new organic complexes are formed. New soil is created. Humates also react with minerals to form porous organic complexes that bind excess nutrients. The ability of the soil to breathe and absorb water increases significantly and has a positive impact on the plant root system.

Humus substances also have a buffering effect on soil PH and increase soil resistance to acidification