Improving Heat and Drought Tolerance with Fulvic Acid

Drought and heat are two major abiotic stresses which negatively affect crop productivity. Given the effects of global Seasonal drought and heat are two common forms of abiotic stresses that many growers worry will reduce their crop yields and quality. Fortunately, plants have developed natural defenses against seasonal heat and drought stress. Foliar application of fulvic acids shortly after the onset of heat and drought stress has been shown to ameliorate some damage by strengthening the crops’ natural defenses through several modes of action, ultimately helping your crop withstand the stress.  

How does fulvic acid help with drought and heat stress?

Crop growth and yields are negatively affected by heat and drought due to physical damages, physiological disruptions, and biochemical changes. Crops respond to heat and drought stress through metabolic processes that change the concentrations of soluble sugars, proline, soluble proteins, and increase levels of polyamines, antioxidant capacity, phenolic compound and abscisic acid (ABA).

Fulvic acid has been shown to ameliorate heat and drought stress damage by strengthening the crops’ natural defenses. Research has shown that treatment with fulvic acid helps increase relative leaf water content in leaves and enhance nutrient transport. Improving the water use efficiency and nutrient assimilation of crops is just one part of the drought stress response enhanced by fulvic acids. Foliar application of fulvic acids significantly increased the CO2 assimilation rate improving photosynthesis. Furthermore, fulvic acids have been shown to increase the concentration of antioxidant enzymes in crops experiencing drought and heat stress, improving the plants tolerance to oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) unleash havoc on plants experiencing heat and drought stress. The oxidative stress caused by ROS attacks membrane lipids causing peroxidation, shuts-down metabolic enzymes, and eventually kills cells. Plants produce antioxidants (ROS scavenging enzymes) to defend against oxidative stress caused by drought. Foliar application of fulvic acid on crops experiencing drought stress increase concentration of antioxidant enzymes. By protecting the photosynthetic apparatus, and helping to maintain the balance between ROS synthesis and destruction, fulvic acid improve heat and drought tolerance of crops leading to growth and yield improvements. Positive results have been reported over a range of crops, making fulvic acid a highly adaptable tool for all growers.

An important advantage of BioLiNE® technology, is our ability to isolate and purify targeted fractions of the humic substances we extract, achieving a very consistent fulvic acid product. Using our proprietary Fulv-IQ® process, we isolate fulvic acid fractions that are most effective in transporting nutrients and protecting crops against heat and drought stress.

For more information on how fulvic acid can help crops under stress, check out our tech sheet on improving heat and drought tolerance with BioLiNE® Gold.