Key Terminology

Acid: Any compound which reacts with a base to form a salt. An acid tastes sour, turns blue litmus paper red (has a pH of less than 7.0 and produces free hydrogen ions).
Aeration: Aeration of the soil involves the exchange of air in the soil with the air from the atmosphere. The composition of air in a well-aerated soil is similar to that in the atmosphere. In poorly aerated soil, the air in the soil contains considerably more carbon dioxide and less oxygen than the atmosphere above the soil.
Alkaline: Alkaline is a basic reaction in which the pH reading is above 7.0.
Aerobic: A micro organism capable of growing or existing in the presence of free oxygen. Fermentation in the presence of air.
Anaerobic: A micro organism capable of growing or existing in the absence of free oxygen.
Base: A compound that can react with an acid to form a salt. A base removes hydrogen ions from an acid and combines with them. The base has a pH greater than 7.0 and turns blue litmus red.
Fulvic Acid: Fulvic acid is that fraction of humic substances that is soluble under all pH conditions. Fulvic acid dissolves in water or alkaline solution to give a clear orange solution. In an acid solution, most of the fulvic acid is soluble but some is precipitated out. Fulvic acid is also soluble in methyl ethyl ketone and methyl alcohol.
Fulvates: Fulvates are the salts of fulvic acid.
Humate: Humate is the salts of humic acids collectively or the salts of humic acids specifically.
Humus: Humus is the organic portion of soil, brown or black in color, consisting of partially or wholly decayed plant and animal matter that provides nutrients to plants and increases the ability of soil to retain water.
Humic Substances: A general category of naturally occurring heterogeneous organic substances.
Humic Acid: Humic acid is that fraction of humic substances that is not soluble in water under acid condition (below pH 2) but soluble at a greater pH. It is the collective name for the acid radical found in humic matter. Humic acid is insoluble in water, any acid solution, methyl ethyl ketone and methyl alcohol.
Ulmic Acid: Ulmic acid is the acid radical found in humic matter which is soluble in alkali. Ulmic acid is soluble in methyl ethyl ketone but is insoluble in water, any acid solution and methyl alcohol.
Ulmates: Ulmates are the salts of ulmic acid.