Texas A&M University System Regents Fellow and Professor Emeritus
Website: Soil and Crops
Dr. Haby’s career has been undergirded by his resolve to identify and ameliorate conditions that limit crop growth. His work while with the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station/Texas AgriLife Research included the use of soil and plant diagnostic techniques in field, greenhouse, and laboratory studies. His career-long goal has been to improve crop production efficiency through well thought-out and properly executed soils and cropping systems research. In Montana, Dr. Haby refined the understanding of fertilizer nitrogen (N) needs for dryland wheat, based on soil nitrate-N levels. He was a pioneer in establishing the understanding of the effect of both soil and applied N on protein and improved the nitrate-N soil test, demonstrated the interactive effects of N and phosphorus (P), and showed that response to applied potassium (K) was unrelated to K soil test level in high K soils. He calibrated the sodium bicarbonate soil test in this system. His other significant research contributions in Montana included: Determined that chloride in potash fertilizers decreased root rot and improved barley yields; Evaluated optimum N management for sugarbeet and corn silage; Resolved the interactive effect of irrigation timing and N rate on safflower production; Related early-season ammonium-N in sugarbeet petioles to highest sucrose production; Evaluated the effects of spent sulfuric acid and gypsum on reclamation of saline-sodic soils.
Dr. Haby’s research contributions in Texas are numerous. He has become a world-recognized authority in crop production on Coastal Plain soils and has been invited to speak at soil fertility symposia in several countries. Some of his key findings: Liming soils to a pH of 6.2 for clover production and to pH 7.0 for alfalfa production intensified boron deficiency; Demonstrated the benefits of higher limestone efficiency (ECCE) for cool season forage production; Encouraged limestone producers to process and market ECCE 100% aglime as an alternative to the relatively inefficient ECCE 62% product. His research showed that it is not necessary to have large particles in limestone and that 40% less of the ECCE 100% aglime was needed to achieve the same pH as the 62% material. Currently, at least 75% of limestone sold by Texas quarries for acid soil neutralization is the high ECCE material. Other significant research contributions have included improved fertilizer practices for bermudagrasses, ryegrass, and clovers; evaluating soil/site properties inhibiting alfalfa as a high nutritive value perennial legume for warm season production on Coastal Plain soils, demonstrating that alfalfa can be successfully grown on selected Coastal Plain soils, and defining the harmful effects of high sodium bicarbonate irrigation water on blueberries as well as the effects of N and P fertilization on blueberry production.
- Ph.D., Crop and Soil Science, 1975, Montana State University
- M.S., Soil Chemistry, 1969, Texas A&M University
- B.S., Agronomy, 1963, Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College
Professional Positions Held:
- Professor, Soil Chemistry, 1989-2008, Texas Agricltural Experiment Station/Texas AgriLife Research
- Associate Professor, Soil Chemistry, 1982-1989, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station
- Associate Professor, Soils, 1980-1982, Montana Agricultural Experiment Station
- Assistant Professor, Soils, 1975-1982, Montana Agricultural Experiment Station
- American Society of Agronomy
- Soil Science Society of America
- American Forage and Grassland Council
- Texas Forage and Grassland Council
- Certified Professional Geoscientist, Soil Science
- Certified Professional Soil Scientist
- Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for Team Research: Blueberries, 1989; Legumes, 1996; Ryegrass, 2001
- Texas-Louisiana AgLime and Fertilizer Association Meritorious Service Award, 1990 and 1993
- Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, 1992, Marquis Who’s Who, 22nd Ed.
- Superior Achievement Award for Research, Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University, 1991
- American Forage and Grassland Council Merit Award, 1996
- Texas A&M University System Regents Fellow Service Award, 2002
- Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence, Extension Education Team on Pasture and Livestock Management, 2004
- Who’s Who in America, 2012, Marquis Who’s Who, 66th Ed
- Haby, V.A., W. B. Anderson, and C.D. Welch. 1979. Effect of limestone variables on amendment of acid soils and production of corn and Coastal bermudagrass. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 43:343-347.
- Haby, V.A., C.E. Simmons, M.S. Stauber, R.E. Lund, and P.O. Kresge. 1983. Relative efficiency of fertilizer nitrogen and soil nitrate-nitrogen for winter wheat production. Agron. J. 75:49-52.
- Haby, V.A. 1989. Soil NO3-N analysis in Ca(OH)2 extracts by the chromotorpic acid method. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 53:308-310.
- Haby, V.A., M. Russelle, and E. O. Skogley. 1990. Testing soils for potassium, calcium, and magnesium. In R.L. Westerman (ed.) Soil Testing and Plant Analysis. Amer. Soc. Agron., Madison, WI.
- Haby, V.A., R.H. Loeppert, R. Villavicencio, A.T. Leonard, and J.V. Davis. 1995 Limestone efficiency and boron effects on forage yield and soil properties. In Date, R.A., et al. (eds.) Plant Soil Interactions at Low pH: Principles and Management. pp. 505-510. Klewer Academic Publishers.
- Haby, V.A., and D.L. Robinson. 1997. Soil fertility and liming practices for production of annual ryegrass. In Rouquette, F.M., Jr., and L.R. Nelson (eds.) Ecology, Production, and Management of Lolium for Forage in the U.S. CSSA Spec. Pub. 24. Madison, WI.
- Haby, V.A., J.V. Davis, and A.T. Leonard. 1999. Response of overseeded alfalfa and bermudagrass to alfalfa row spacing and nitrogen rate. Agron. J. 91:902-910.
- Haby, V.A., and A.T. Leonard. 2002. Limestone quality and effectiveness for neutralizing soil acidity. Commun. Soil Sci. and Plant Anal. 33(15-18):2935-2948.
- Haby,V.A., and A.T. Leonard. 2005. Sustainable alfalfa production on Coastal Plain soils of the USA. Commun. Soil Sci. and Plant Anal. 36:47-63.
- Osuji, G.O., V.A. Haby, D.J. Chessman, and A.T. Leonard. 2005. Responses of the fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and glutamate dehydrogenase activities of alfalfa to boron, gypsum, and limestone amendments of soil. Photosynthetica 42(2):307-312.
- Cassida, K.A., B.S. Stewart, V.A. Haby, and S.A. Gunter. 2006. Alfalfa pasture as an alternative to bermudagrass for stocker calves. Agron. J. 98:705-713.
- Haby, V.A., S.A. Stout, F. M. Hons, and A.T. Leonard. 2006. Nitrogen fixation and transfer in a mixed stand of alfalfa and bermudagrass. Agron. J. 98:890-898.
- Leonard, A.T. and Haby, V.A. 2010. Tifton 85 Bermudagrass Response to Nitrogen Rates and Sources With and Without Urease Inhibitor and Poly Coating Treatments.