What is VolcaMin?

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VolcaMin works as a fertiliser battery, charging when free nutrients are available, holding them from leaching and releasing them to plant demand as required.

Volcamin is not effected by temperature and reduces the leaching of nutrients under hot tropical conditions, holding them for use by the plant instead.

Volcamin is also an excellent capillary distributor of water due its highly porous properties, assisting infiltration, holding water higher in the pot and distributing water and nutrients more evenly through the mix which is important especially under drip irrigation. It is used in several leading wetting agents.

Use of Volcamin will soak up excess ammonium and other cations in mixes often released under hot conditions, preventing root burning.  Volcamin is marginally alkaline and a source of available calcium so its use with fertilisers can help buffer pH levels thus reducing the need for lime applications.

Volcamin carries a negative ionic charge which naturally attracts positive charged cations like ammonium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. The open crystalline structure of Volcamin has many storage sites for these ions which hold naturally through a loose chemical bond. These fertiliser ions are available to plants. Volcamin has a very high cation exchange capacity and thus increases the mixes ability to hold and release nutrients. As cations are water soluble they escape from mixes by leaching.   Volcamin is the perfect planting partner as it is a natural wetting agent and distributor of water as well as an electrically charged fertiliser magnet.

It helps water penetrate sandy non-wettable soils and will evenly distribute water around drippers and soak lines. It should be used in planting holes, mixed with the top 10-15cm of soils or a mulch.

As a planting amendment, it makes a permanent difference as it won’t break down or be eaten by microbes in the soil. Volcamin has ten times the nutrient holding capacity per litre than peat and helps prevent environmental leaching of nutrients into waterways.

VolcaMin Nutrient Efficiency System for Agriculture & Plantations

The Complete in Soil Nutrient Management Solution

Incorporating VolcaMin into your soil conditioning and fertiliser program is a long term investment in the productivity of your soils and return on your fertiliser investment. Mixed into holes at planting, banded or applied around existing plantations or mixed with fertiliser blends, VolcaMin will improve plant available nutrient uptake and conversion to yield. Volcamin dramatically improves poor soils and as it doesn’t break down and is not consumed by microbes it is a permanent amendment and conditioner.

  • Reduces leaching dramatically
  • Selective for ammonium potassium calcium & magnesium
  • Stores up to 2% of its own weight in molecular ammonium, potassium, calcium & magnesium
  • Improves nutrient availability
  • Volcamin improves water infiltration
  • Volcamin improves capillary distribution through the soil
  • Drains freely, won’t clog the soil
  • Solution to poor soils under tropical rainfall
  • Stores nutrients that are normally washed away
  • Reduces environmental impact on streams & rivers from reduced farm nutrient run off

Malaysian Mangoes

Malaysian Mangoes using Zeolite     










20th Aug 07                                                                                                                                   3 months later

Enables better growth through permanently improved water & nutrient retention

  • Mixed in from 1% to 5% of root zone soils
  • Applied with Fertilisers
  • Natural wetting agent
  • Total Porosity 42.4%
  • Water holding by volume 26.6%
  • Capillary water holding without loss of drainage
  • Nutrient holding through high cation exchange
  • Permanent, isn’t consumed by microbes or plants
  • Selective for ammonium potassium calcium & magnesium
  • Reduces leaching dramatically



Healthy trees using Zeolite

With Volcamin Inclusion Without Volcamin Inclusion

Soil and Fertiliser without Zeolite


  • Water and soluble fertilisers pass through the low cation exchange capacity soil profile with nothing to attract and hold them
  • Valuable nutrients are leached through
  • Plant available nutrition is poor
  • Particularly true of poor soils under tropical rainfall
  • Although drainage is good, water retention is poor
  • Runoff water becomes nutrient contaminated

Soil and Fertiliser with Zeolite

  • Water and soluble fertilisers are attracted and held in the soil profile or growing media Valuable nutrients are not leached but exchanged onto the Volcamin
  • Plant available nutrition is much better as the plants can harvest the Volcamin
  • Hydraulic conductivity is not affected
  • Capillary distribution is much better
  • More water is held higher in the profile
  • Higher yields from better nutrition
  • Reduced Environmental leachate


Improved Nitrogen Uptake

VolcaMin particular affinity to attract and hold ammonium enables it to catch and hold nitrogen fertilisers from leaching through the soil for maximum plant available nutrition. Plants readily extract the stored nitrogen they require from the Volcamin by active root uptake.

University of New England; Department of Agronomy & Soil Science. Test of Lettuce and Reseda odorata into potting mixes at 8% by weight and Uralla (sandy granitic) soil


  • The results of the trials using Volcamin were significant.
  • Volcamin addition produced considerable increases in plant growth
  • Volcamin reduces Nitrogen toxicity in early plant growth.
  • Volcamin has the ability to retain nitrogen in the absorbed (NH4+) form against leaching

Potted plant trials with and without Zeolite


  • Volcamin improves the uptake of Nitrogen in plants and improves fertilizer utilization


  • Volcamin improved uptake by plants by 175% in Potting mix


Lettuce trials with and without Zeolite - University of New England 

Improved Nitrogen Recovery from plant tissue

Cornell University USA

  • Recovery of applied Nitrogen from grass in Volcamin amended sand profile
  • For the sand profiles, the percentage of applied fertilizer N that was recovered in grass clippings ranged from
  • 62% to 70% of the applied N
  • The addition of 10% Volcamin to the sand resulted in a greater amount of the fertilizer N ending up in the bent grass clippings
  • 75% to 93% of the applied N.
  • This difference was most noticeable at the lower N application rate.
  • Adding 10% Volcamin to sand also resulted in substantially less nitrate leaching.
  • Leaching of NO3 reduced by 88%
  • Leaching of NH4 reduced by 99% VolcaMin with VolcaMin

Improved Potassium Uptake

Potassium is a vital nutrient for flower and bud initiation and is one the most expensive nutritional element. VolcaMin particular affinity for potassium enables it to be stored in the soil for efficient plant use. Potassium is often critical to yield.

Trial work confirms VolcaMin impact on potassium availability and uptake.


Trial in a Commercial Trellis Tomato Crop, Institute of Sustainable Irrigated Agriculture Tatura Victoria 2003


The effect of Volcamin banded pre-planting at a rate of 1.4t/ha on a crop of indeterminate tomato (cv Red Ruby)


Shepparton Fine Sandy Loam soils was investigated in the Goulburn Valley

Trellis Tomato Crop with Zeolite - Institute of Sustainable Irrigated Agriculture Tatura Victoria

  • A significant increase in medium and large fruit grade fruit was observed in the Volcamin treatment.
  • The improved yield may be related to nutrient uptake that was significantly altered when compared with an untreated control
  • High potassium levels in petiole sap
  • Lead to more flower, bud initiation & fruit
  • Potassium is a key driver of flowering and yield

Improved Trace Element Nutrient Uptake

University of Colorado Soil Science Dept trials, Sorghum Sudan grass with VolcaMin

  • Increased production by a 65%
  • Increased P uptake
  • NH4 – Volcamin can Mobilise nutrients & trace elements
  • Lead to higher trace nutrient concentrations in tissue
  • Concentrations of nutrient elements in plant matter increased by:
  • P 100%,
  • Cu 100%,
  • Mn 450%,
  • Ca 50%,
  • Mg 30%
  • Zn 30%

Sorghum Sudan grass with VolcaMin Zeolite

Naturally extracts Phosphorus
VolcaMin can naturally assist in releasing phosphorus from soil lock ups or mineral apatite’s. Plants extract the stored ammonium and potassium from the Volcamin by active root uptake, exuding hydrogen ions to replace the nutrient on the Volcamin structure. This loosely bonded hydrogen then exchanges back into the soil as the Volcamin more strongly attracts calcium ions, even breaking the bond of phosphorus and calcium to pull the calcium onto the Volcamin, releasing the phosphorus to plants.

  • Formula US Geological Survey Research
  • Phosphate rock + NH4-Volcamin < = > Ca-Volcamin + NH4 + H2PO4
  • Naturally extracts phosphorus from applied P locked up in the soil
  • Extracts calcium from phosphates
  • Releasing Phosphorus for the Plant
  • Partners to fertilisers MAP DAP Urea & Potassium’s
  • Buffers and holds ammonium & Urea

Improved Fertiliser Conversion

A trial effect of Volcamin on Clipper malting barley, was carried out by Australian Agricultural Technology at Barooga, NSW

  • Incorporation of the VolcaMin increased the barley yield
  • With DS by 16% and with DAP by 18%.
  • The DAP plus VolcaMin yield was 34% greater than the DS alone yield.
  • Volcamin with DAP increased the seeds per head, filler number, yield and protein content of the Barley.

Volcamin Zeolite on Clipper malting barley trial - Australian Agricultural Technology Barooga NSW

Volcamin Zeolite on Clipper malting barley trial - Australian Agricultural Technology Barooga NSW - results

Improves Soil Structure

Volcamin improves soil structure with its massive internal surface area and porosity. This surface area creates considerable surface tension with available water exerting a great capillary pull. This equates to a natural wetting agent effect with greater infiltration of water into soils and more even capillary distribution throughout the soil. This assists in holding more water higher in the soil profile and spreading available water more evenly from irrigation points. As the Volcamin is mildly alkaline, it has a liming effect on acid soils.

  • Improves water infiltration and even capillary distribution through soil profile
  • Helps hold more water higher in the root zone
  • Drains freely, won’t block or clog soil
  • Encourages & provides a home to microbial life, improving micro flora populations
  • Increases cation exchange capacity
  • Has mild liming effect buffering acidity
  • Improves soil aeration
  • Treatment is permanent as the mineral does not physically break down
  • Can be built up in the soil over time when applied with fertilisers
  • Perfect treatment for tropical applications with poor soils and high rainfall

Improved Soil Structure using VolcaMin Zeolite

Rates & Inclusion

Growing Mixes

  • 2.5% of mix volume = 25Kg per M³
  • 5% of mix volume = 50 Kg per M³
  • 10% of mix volume = 100 Kg per M³

Field Application

  • The efficiency of NPK fertilisers can be increased by the inclusion of Premium Horticultural Grade VolcaMin at 25%-50% of blend
  • Soil Amendment 1-5 tonnes tonnes/Hectare

 Tree Rates Tropics

  • At Planting 5-10 Kgs per planting hole
  • Circle Trenching 3-5 Kgs per tree

Volcamin will also remove ammonia odour from organic manures and improve the fertiliser value of Volcamin treated manures.

Echuca Tomato Trial

Property of Mick Cox

The trial was arranged through PIVOT representative Russell Nichol to evaluate the effect of addition of VolcaMin at the rate of 125 Kg/HA in addition to normal fertilizer program on processing tomatoes. The VolcaMin was added with Pivot 16 fertilizer at final stage of bed preparation prior to direct seeding.

Approximately 1 HA was treated (3 rows). No obvious growth response was noted and crop was mechanically harvested on 17th March 1992. Two control rows were harvested adjacent to treatment rows, the third being harvested further up the paddock where they had been operating before we harvested the trial.


Row                  Number of Bins per Row

Treatment         Control

1                      14.5                  13.0

2                      13.0                  12.5

3                      13.5                  12.0

TOTAL  41.0                  37.5

Echuca Tomato Trial using VolcaMin Zeolite

  • VolcaMin APPLIED @ 125 Kg/HA COST @ $300fT = $37.50/HA
  • 7.5 T /HA @ $109.00fT = $817.50                                                   (Noel Whitcher 25th March 1992)

Bundaberg Tomato Trial


The plants were grown in raised rows 9” wide with 27” spaces between rows. VolcaMin was applied within the rows at a rate of .5 tonne and 1 tonne equivalent per acre. The VolcaMin was incorporated with the fertiliser directly into the rows at the time of planting and watering was by trickle irrigation. The actual application rates for the trial where the rows only form ¼ of the total area, was 0.125 and 0.25 tonne per acre respectively.


A known length of row (75 feet) was picked by hand in the treated rows and in the adjoining untreated row and yields recorded.


First picking

VolcaMin at 1 tonne to the acre (equivalent) = 60 kgs

Untreated adjoining row                                             = 50 kgs

Increase                                                                     = 20%

VolcaMin at .5 tonne to the acre (equivalent)            = 45 kgs

Untreated adjoining row                                             = 40 kgs

Increase                                                                     = 12.5%

Bundaberg Tomato crop using VolcaMin Zeolite

Total Harvest Results The one tonne per acre (equivalent) VolcaMin row yielded overall a 10% increase in fruit size with an accompanying 10-12% increase in yield weights.


Average yields on tomato production in Bundaberg are 1500-2000 cases per acre. The 10% increase in yield produced an additional 150 cases of tomatoes per acre valued at $1500.

Institute of Sustainable Irrigated Agriculture

Trial in a Commercial Trellis Tomato Crop, Tatura Victoria 2003

  • The effect of Volcamin banded pre-planting at a rate of 1.4t/ha on a crop of indeterminate tomato (cv Red Ruby) grown on Shepparton Fine Sandy Loam was investigated at Murchison East in the Goulburn Valley between January and May 2003.
  • A significant increase in medium and large fruit grade fruit was observed in the Volcamin treatment.
  • The improved yield may be related to nutrient uptake that was significantly altered when compared with an untreated control
  • High potassium levels in petiole sap
  • Lead to more flower, bud initiation & fruit
  • Potassium is a key driver of flowering and yield

Potassium is a vital nutrient for flower and bud initiation and is one the most expensive nutritional element. VolcaMin particular affinity for potassium enables it to be stored in the soil for efficient plant use. Potassium is often critical to yield.

Crop performance & yield

The Volcamin treatment had a significantly higher number (P=O.007) and yield (P=O.003) of medium-grade fruit, as well as a significant increase in Iarge fruit yield (P=O.042). Total fruit number was significantly (P=O.071) higher in the Volcamin treatment, although there was no significant total yield increase.

Effect of Volcamin on small, medium, large and total fruit yield and number in indeterminate tomato cv. Red Ruby

Fruit category






Number   Yield

Number   Yield

Number    Yield

Number     Yield

(/m)      (t/ha)

(/m)      (t/ha)

(/m)      (t/ha)

(/m)      (t/ha)


136.7    59.4

76.5      67.4

2.4        2.8

215.5    129.7


116.4    57.8

58.1      48.9

0.9        0.8

175.4    107.7

Fruit size


Proportion in category (%)

Average fruit




size (g)











Department of Agriculture (Victoria) Frankston Vegetable Research Institute
Minimum Tillage Vegies

Trials undertaken by the Department of Agriculture (Victoria) at the Frankston Vegetable Research Institute, showed that composts treated with Volcamin were more effective than untreated compost

Undertaken on light sandy soils, the trials compared traditional cultivation practices (lime base organic matter and chemical fertiliser) with a range of treatments involving organic matter.

The organic treatments were:

  • Fresh organic matter
  • Composted organic matter which had been turned during composting
  • Composted material which had been covered with Volcamin and not turned.

The experiments were run over eight crops during the two-year period with data being obtained on seedling emergence, crop yields, % of crop in marketable range and plant and soil chemistry.

Under traditional grower practice, the vegetable beds were prepared by cultivation and limed to achieve a pH of 65 they also had a base dressing of 10t/ha of fowl manure and chemical fertiliser @ 900-1100 kg/ha applied prior to each crop based on their requirement.

While the trial was not set up to specifically examine the role of Volcamin, it provided some interesting results:

  • Organic matter improved the soil’s physical condition.
  • In the first year the addition of mature compost with or without Volcamin or fresh organic matter resulted in significant yield increases compared to normal grower practice.
  • Soil analysis showed higher levels of nitrogen and potassium due to the ability of Volcamin to hold these nutrients in light sandy soils.
  • Tissue analysis showed similar nutrient levels in the plants in all treatments.
  • Overall, Volcamin had a role to play in improving com posted organic matter and in retaining nutrients (N & K) in light sandy soils

It is believed that where fresh organic matter alone is used, and the first crop is seeded, it can suffer from a release of phytotoxins composting eliminated these phytotoxins.


Department of Agriculture (Victoria) Frankston Vegetable Research Institute using VolcaMin Zeolite
The addition of Volcamin probably improved the value of the mature compost due to its ability to retain ammonium nitrogen and possibly the increase in efficiency of the nutrient supply to the crop.

Volcamin is now available from turfmate