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OPN Connect Newsletter 281 · August 11, 2022

Live Earth Products Help Reduce Fertilizer Loss and Improve Yield


Based in Emery, Utah, Live Earth Products is a family-owned company offering humic acid- and fulvic acid-based products for agricultural, gardening, landscaping, and other applications.

Live Earth manufactures its products from a humate deposit found in its Emery mine that is rich in trace minerals and humic and fulvic acids.

Cal Organic May 2024

“Our mission is to help farmers make a more efficient use of applied inputs like fertilizer and water,” says Russell Taylor, VP of Live Earth Products. “Our products can improve soil for future harvests by increasing the soil's ability to hold water and nutrients.”

Russell Taylor, VP, Live Earth Products

At a time when synthetic fertilizer prices are rapidly rising—which, in turn, has led to increases in manure prices—Live Earth’s soil amendments offer a way for growers to boost fertilizer efficiency.

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“Our mission is to help farmers make a more efficient use of applied inputs like fertilizer and water.” - Russell Taylor

“Live Earth Products can help reduce fertilizer loss to achieve optimal results,” says Taylor. “Our products are designed to deliver a higher return on investment by reducing nutrient loss.”

Live Earth offers three agricultural products, which can be used by both organic and conventional growers: Live Earth Humate Soil Conditioner, LM-32 AG, and Liquid 6.

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Live Earth Humate Soil Conditioner

Live Earth Humate Soil Conditioner is an organic soil amendment that improves compacted soils as well as those with high salts, marginal pH, and low organic matter. It is OMRI Listed and approved for use in organic crop production by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

“Humic shale ore—the sole ingredient in our Humate Soil Conditioner—contains humic and fulvic acids that help increase organic matter concentration in the soil to retain more nutrients and water,” says Taylor. “Mined from an ancient plant deposit, Humate Soil Conditioner provides trace minerals, organic acids, and plant nutrients like iron and sulfur.”

“Our products are designed to deliver a higher return on investment by reducing nutrient loss.” - Russell Taylor

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An OMRI Listed liquid product, LM-32 AG (1.5% hydrophobic fulvic acid) is a cold-water-extracted fulvic acid that has natural organic acids and trace minerals. It can help increase the availability of micronutrients as well as the water-holding capacity of the soil, which has been tied to better-quality and higher-yield crops. 

Live Earth’s third agricultural product, Liquid 6, is a liquid humic acid (6% concentration) that can be used on all soils and crops. It is OMRI Listed and approved for use in organic production by the CDFA and the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA).

“Liquid 6 is a low-ash humic acid extract from humic shale that delivers the highest available humic acid content of all Live Earth liquid products,” says Taylor. “It blends well with most liquid fertilizers and is ideal for improving nutrient uptake, increasing organic matter, and reducing nutrient tie-up in the soil.”

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In a 2021 study, the University of Tennessee found that Liquid 6 application to corn fields led to a 16-bushel yield increase per acre (compared to fertilizer alone). The study also found that using Liquid 6 in combination with reduced fertilizer application resulted in a $75 increase in return per acre.

“Liquid 6 is a low-ash humic acid extract from humic shale that delivers the highest available humic acid content of all Live Earth liquid products.” - Russell Taylor

Live Earth’s products are available for purchase from local agricultural distributors, including Penny Newman and New Era Farm Service.

Matt Nicoletti, Director of Business Development, Penny Newman

“Live Earth’s products have been a foundational component of our agronomic program since the founding of our Farm Products Division,” says Matt Nicoletti, director of business development for Penny Newman. “Humates are truly amazing compounds and perhaps the closest thing we have to a ‘magic elixir’ when it comes to correcting our soil conditions in [California]. Although we’re known for being a very fertile and high-producing region, California has uniquely challenging issues with salinity, compaction, and low organic matter—and humates are by far the simplest and most cost-effective tools for addressing these challenges.”

Nicoletti notes that “not all humates are created equal, and many producers attempt to sell ash (residual inert material from the mining process) and claim it as humic content. Live Earth’s products contain the highest ash-free fulvic content on the market, making them unmatched in purity and efficacy when compared against price point,” he says.

“Live Earth’s products have been a foundational component of our agronomic program since the founding of our Farm Products Division.” - Matt Nicoletti

I try to use phrases like ‘idiot proof’ and ‘no brainer’ sparingly when it comes to agronomics, but I’m not afraid to do so when referring to Live Earth,” says Nicoletti. “We’re simply unaware of a soil condition that doesn’t stand to significantly benefit from the incorporation of their products, and it’s not hard to find room for them in a fertilizer budget.” 

Recently, Live Earth’s Taylor says he’s been noticing an overall shift in the ag industry toward organic fertilizer use and regenerative practices.

“We’re simply unaware of a soil condition that doesn’t stand to significantly benefit from the incorporation of [Live Earth's] products, and it’s not hard to find room for them in a fertilizer budget.” - Matt Nicoletti

“Price and availability issues are motivators leading growers back to organic fertilizers,” he says. “Manure is now about 25 percent cheaper than chemical fertilizers. The USDA plans to launch a $250 million grant program this summer to support natural fertilizer producers." 

"Natural fertilizers are the way forward, offering improved long-term productivity and better capacity for nutrient absorption in the soil. There’s a growing trend toward regenerative agriculture and care for the soil. As prices go up and ingredients get more expensive, farmers really want to start looking at their nutrient efficiencies. Humates and humic acid are part of that story. Live Earth offers American-mined and manufactured products, and we haven’t suffered from shortages or had to increase our pricing.”

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