Let’s start in the south and work our way north. Terlingua, TX has a vein that would be the southern end of the New Mexico seam. There I found a low concentration of Humic material roughly in the 40% range that was also heavy in lead and a few other heavy metals. My opinion was not worth paying the freight to haul it anywhere.
New Mexico State has attracted interest for many years with 2 close and competing mines, Mesa Verde and Horizon. This fairly shallow seam was formed under a lake bed and with that a pretty high amount of silica sand and Aluminum Oxide. 70% is the guarantee on the Humic/Fulvic combination which is always under the actual. Their claim is the higher portion of Fulvic to Humic.
As an older vein of Lignite it is further oxidized (closer to becoming coal) and slower to break down once spread out in the field. Because of the large amounts of sand and aluminum, this also results in 11.2% non-solubles. A few of the major suppliers access almost 100% of their supply from this area. I have had experience with some of the larger chips from this material still being intact into the second season in the field.
North Dakota (Leonardite) is an 80% active guarantee supply that was formed from an area of large forestation and salt water. Impurities here run around 20% compared to New Mexico’s 37.5%. 7% non-solubles is a plus and this area is a major supplier to the formulators and those who buy Potassium Hydroxide extracted soluble material. This would be the material I had in my supply chain when I worked with UAP, then Crop Production, and now Nutrien.
Utah has a vein that was the choice of Dr. Skow, for those familiar with his work. I have avoided this material because I found material with a lower amount of heavy metals. Also a well-promoted vein.
My travels finally led me 2.5 hours north of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where I found a fresh water source of very clean young Humalite. 80% guarantee (currently 86+%. 6% of this material is fulvic with 12.9% impurities and the lowest amount of non-solubles at 1.2%. Buried ferns, peat, and undergrowth partially because of this very cold climate have made this the youngest of the active mines that will literally break down rubbing the dry material between your fingers.
The harvesting method utilized keeps out almost all of the stray clay and running the material over a screen before bagging has reduced the dust normally found to a very small component. The low impurity and lower non-soluble properties allow me to bring in a liquid humic at a 24% concentration instead of the type 6-12%. Less totes to buy and much less water to ship, just dilute it at your house or I will dilute the liquid to 16% and then re-strain the material to catch any late unrolling Humic molecules. All raw humic is wound up fairly tight as will unroll and become available after field spread or when exposed to either sodium hydroxide of potassium hydroxide. Then you can form a stable liquid. It is not possible to fully solubilize raw humics.
Wherever you buy your Humic liquids, be aware that when the final solution drops below 6.5ph you will see humic starting to fall out of the solution. Adjust your mixing order to lessen antagonism. A good gravitational settling, followed by a centrifuge spin and finally a fine mesh screen will save a lot of headaches and bad words when mixing. A small amount of sludge is actually normal in the bottom of a tote as it is actually humin, the molecules that will not react or attach to an anion or a cation.
One unique property of Humic Acid is the with its 12 molecules and functional groups, this ability to attach to a positive molecule while other groups can attach to or hold a negative molecule. This property is called amphoteric and explains how both micronutrients, Nitrogen, and water can be stored along the Humic bonding sites. Humic Acid material being moisture aggressive will actually pull atmospheric moisture (containing 70% nitrogen when necessary and provides water bridging which allows some of the less mobile oil microbes to move more easily. A wonderful carbon food source for microbes and the ability to chelate off or pull some heavy metals from the clay colloids reduces the size of the remaining soil colloid and lets air, water, and hair roots to have easier access to deeper areas with more stored nutrition and moisture.
The remaining functions will be included in the Fulvic Acid Discussions would elsewhere here.