Julie-HoweJulie A. Howe

Associate Professor

Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences


2004 Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Soil Chemistry)
1999 M.S., Texas A&M University (Soil Chemistry)
1995 B.S., Texas A&M University (Bioenvironmental Sciences)


2013 – present Associate Professor, Auburn University
2007 – 13 Assistant Professor, Auburn University


2016 Mentoring Award, American Society Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America
2015 Early Career Research Award, Southern Branch American Society of Agronomy Research Highlight:
Howe, J.A., R.J. Florence*, G. Harris, E. van Santen, J. Beasley, K.B. Balkcom, and J. Bostick. 2012.
Research Highlight: Effect of cultivar, irrigation, and soil calcium on runner peanut response to gypsum. ASA, Madison, WI.
2014 Outstanding Editor, Journal of Natural Sciences Education (American Society of Agronomy)
2012 Natural Sciences Education Outstanding Reviewer Award (American Society of Agronomy)

PROFESSIONAL affiliations

American Society of Agronomy
Crop Science Society of America
Soil Science Society of America
American Peanut Research and Education Society
American Society of Brewing Chemists

Research Activities

My research program primarily focuses on soil chemistry with emphasis on the effects of land management on both inorganic and biological processes. Research investigations are designed to provide results that can be applied, as well as answer basic research questions.

One research focus has been to evaluate overall productivity and environmental sustainability of production practices in the Southeast. Cotton, peanut, and cattle production are some of the largest agricultural commodities in the Southeast. Due to the climate and soils of the region, these commodities continually struggle to produce profit in an environmentally sustainable manner. I have been studying the impact of a non-traditional crop rotation scheme that incorporates perennial forage grass into the traditional peanut-cotton rotation on soil organic carbon, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions, and changes in soil chemical and physical properties.

Another research focus seeks to improve productivity in crop production through soil fertility studies. I have conducted studies on nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, iron, molybdenum, boron, manganese, and silica, as well as investigating bioavailability of potential toxic elements from soil amendments.

Lastly, I have a strong interest in phytochemicals (e.g., carotenoids, anthocyanins, isoflavones) that benefit plant production and/or human or animal health. Some carotenoids are well-known as pre-cursors to vitamin A, but all of these compounds are antioxidants that have numerous beneficial properties to the plant and to humans/animals that consume them.

extension activities

Peanut and cotton are the major summer agronomic crops in the Southeast U.S. However, producers of these crops are plagued by drought, erosion, infertile soils, and susceptibility to pest and disease. Many of these problems can be ameliorated through practices that improve soil carbon, which is one of my research focuses. Soil carbon has the potential to improve water-holding capacity, nutrient-holding capacity, water infiltration, bulk density, rooting depth, and erodibility, in addition to storing carbon from the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Research evaluating conservation practices, such as tillage, crop rotation, grazing, cover cropping, and production of perennial and annual grasses for soil cover, as well as general soil fertility issues are presented to producers at field days, workshops, certification and training meetings, trade shows, and grower conferences. In addition, extension publications will also be used to disseminate information. Target audiences include producers, crop advisors, consultants, extension agents, commodity groups, and government officials.

recent COURSES taught

CSES 2040 Basic Soil Science
CSES 5300/5303/6300/6306 Soil Chemistry
CSES 7540 Plant Nutrition
CSES 8570 Physical Chemistry of Soils
ENVI 1010 Introduction to Environmental Sciences
HRMT 7116 Brewing Materials

Select Publications

  • Yang, R., J.A. Howe, and K.B. Balkcom. 2016. Soil Evaluation Methods for Calcium for Peanut Production in the Coastal Plain Peanut Science. Peanut Science. (in press)
  • Gamble, A.V., J.A. Howe, D. Watts, W. Wood, and E. van Santen. 2014. Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics in a Sod-Based Rotation on Coastal Plain Soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 78:1997-2008
  • Gamble, A.V., J.A. Howe, D.P. Delaney, E. van Santen , R.P. Yates. 2014. Iron chelates alleviate iron chlorosis in soybean on high pH soils. Agronomy J. 106:1251-1257.
  • Prevatt, C., J. Novak, W. Prevatt, M.R. Worosz, K. Balkcom, W. Birdsong, B. Gamble, and J. Howe. 2013. A return-risk analysis of Southern row-crop enterprises and the sod-based rotation. Journal of Agribusiness 31:35-45.
  • Guertal, E.A. and J.A. Howe. 2012. Influence of phosphorus solubilizing compounds on soil P and P uptake by perennial ryegrass. Biol. Fert. Soils. DOI: 10.1007/s00374-012-0749-3
  • Howe, J.A., R.J. Florence, G. Harris, E. van Santen, J. Beasley, K.B. Balkcom, and J. Bostick. 2012. Effect of cultivar, irrigation, and soil calcium on runner peanut response to gypsum. Agronomy J. 104:1312-1320.