University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Department of Soil, Water, and Climate

Michael Russelle

Research Soil Scientist (retired)michaelrusselle | 612-625-8145

435 Borlaug Hall
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul MN 55108



B.S.1976Oregon State UniversityAgronomy
M.S.1978Oregon State UniversityCrop Science
Ph.D.1982University of  NebraskaAgronomy

My research focuses on N cycling in livestock-cropping systems. The goal is to improve N use efficiency and reduce losses to the environment. Collaborative research is underway to estimate N2 fixation by alfalfa on farms, reduce tile drainage nitrate losses, determine the effect of enhanced nitrate uptake in mixtures of alfalfa and grass, assess whether alfalfa root phenotype affects P and K uptake, measure impacts of manure application to alfalfa on runoff water quality, and determine fertilizer N needs in alfalfa-corn rotations.

Selected Publications:

Russelle, M.P. (2013). The alfalfa yield gap: A review of the evidence. Forage and Grazinglands. (in press; accepted March 25. 2013).

Yost, M.A., M.P. Russelle, and J.A. Coulter. 2013. Nitrogen requirements of first-year corn following alfalfa were not altered by fall-applied manure. Agron. J. 105:1061-1069.

Yost, M.A., J.A. Coulter, M.P. Russelle, C.C. Sheaffer, and D.E. Kaiser. 2012. Alfalfa nitrogen credit to first-year corn: Potassium, regrowth, and tillage timing effects. Agron. J. 104:953-962.

Yost, M.A., M.P. Russelle, J.A. Coulter, C.C. Sheaffer, and D.E. Kaiser. 2011. Potassium management during the rotation from alfalfa to corn. Agron. J. 103:1785-1793.

Russelle, M.P., and J.F.S. Lamb. 2011. Divergent alfalfa root system architecture is maintained across environments and nutrient supply. Agron. J. 103:1115-1123.

Russelle, M.P., D.W. Kelley, A.S. Birr, and D.G. Tiffany. 2010. Spatial ramifications of crop selection: Water quality and biomass energy. In D.E. Clay and J. Shanahan (eds.) GIS Applications in Agriculture: Nutrient Management for Energy Efficiency.
Taylor and Francis.

Powell, J.M., M.P. Russelle, and N.P. Martin. 2010. The United States: Trends in the dairy industry and their implications for producers and the environment. p. 115-139. In P. Gerber et al. (eds.) Livestock in a Changing Landscape. Vol. 2. Experiences and regional perspectives. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Russelle, M.P., K.M. Blanchet, G.W. Randall, L.A. Everett. 2009. Characteristics and nitrogen value of stratified bedded pack dairy manure. Crop Management. Available online:

Russelle, M.P. 2008. Biological dinitrogen fixation in agriculture. p. 281-359. In J.S. Schepers and W.R. Raun (ed.) Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems. 2nd Ed. Agron. Monogr. 22.

Russelle, M.P., M.H. Entz, and A.J. Franzluebbers. 2007. Reconsidering integrated crop-livestock systems in North America. Agron. J. 99:325-334.