J. Mark Powell


J. Mark Powell – Professor Emeritus

Environmental impacts of ruminant livestock, nutrient cycling, effects of livestock manure on soil nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon cycling and crop productivity, integrated nutrient management on dairy farms.

UW-Madison, Department of Soil Science
1525 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1299, USA
Office: US Dairy Forage Research Center, 1925 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706

Phone: 608.890.0070
Fax: 608.890.0076

Email:  mark.powell@wisc.edu

Program Affiliations

  • Department of Soil Science
  • Research Soil Scientist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, US Dairy Forage Research Center


  • AA Science, 1972, Camden County College, NJ
  • BS (with honors) Plant Sciences, 1979, Clemson University, SC
  • MPS International Agriculture & Rural Development, 1982, Cornell University, NY
  • PhD Agronomy, 1989, Texas A&M University, TX

Awards and Honors

Dr. Powell’s most significant, recent awards and honors are:

  • Distinguished Expert, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Rome, Italy, 2011-2012.
  • ‘Tannin extracts abate ammonia emissions from simulated barn floors’ selected for special press release by American Society of Agronomy, 2011.
  • Nominated for USDA-ARS National Technology Transfer Award ‘For development and transfer of tools for rapid assessment of nutrient use efficiency across diverse dairy farm types in the U.S. and abroad’, 2011.
  • Led team nominated for Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) Excellence in Technology Transfer Award for ‘Snapshots of nutrient use efficiency on dairy farms’, 2011.
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award, Camden County College (CCC), Blackwood, NJ. (CCC is the second largest higher education institution in NJ, after Rutgers University), 2009.
  • ‘Nitrogen budget and soil N dynamics after multiple applications of unlabeled or 15N-enriched dairy manure’ selected for special press release by Soil Science Society of America, 2004.
  • ‘Crop-livestock interactions in the west African drylands’ selected for special press release by American Society of Agronomy, 2004.
  • Led team nominated for USDA-ARS National Technology Transfer Award for ‘…unusually effective outreach efforts to convince dairy producers, their consultants and the feed industry that phosphorus content of dairy diets should be reduced’, 2003.

Selected Publications

Dr. Powell has published (as of November 2012) approximately 200 research papers, of which 70 are refereed journal articles, 9 book chapters, numerous consultant reports, and a wide variety of materials targeted specifically for technology transfer.

Powell, J.M.  1984, Assessment of dry matter yield from grain yield in the West African savanna zone.  J. Agric. Sci., Cambridge. 103:695-698.

Powell, J.M., and E. Taylor-Powell. 1984. Cropping by Fulani agropastoralists in Central Nigeria. ILCA Res. Bull. 19:21-27.

Powell, J.M., and W. Bayer. 1985. Crop residue grazing by Bunaji cattle in Central Nigeria. Trop. Agric., Trinidad 62:302-304.

Powell, J.M. 1985. Yields of sorghum and millet and stover consumption by livestock in the Subhumid Zone of Nigeria. Trop. Agric., Trinidad 62:77-81.

Powell, J.M. 1986. Manure for cropping: A case study from Central Nigeria. Exp. Agric. 22:15-24.

Powell, J.M., and M.A. Mohamed-Saleem. 1987. Nitrogen and phosphorus transfers in a crop-livestock system in the savanna zone of West Africa. Agric. Syst. 25:261-277.

Powell, J.M., and F.M. Hons. 1991. Sorghum stover removal effects on soil organic matter content, extractable nutrients, and crop yield. J. Sust. Agric. 2:25-39.

Powell, J.M., F.M. Hons, and G.G. McBee. 1991. Nutrient and carbohydrate partitioning in sorghum stover. Agron. J. 83:933-937.

Powell, J.M., and F.M. Hons. 1992. Fertilizer nitrogen and stover removal effects on sorghum yields, and nutrient uptake and partitioning. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 39:197-211.

Kouamé, C., J.M. Powell, C.A. Renard, and K.H. Quesenberry. 1993. Plant yields and fodder quality related characteristics of millet-stylo intercropping systems in the Sahel. Agron. J. 85:601-605.

Powell, J.M., and L.K. Fussell. 1993. Nutrient and structural carbohydrate partitioning in pearl millet. Agron. J. 85:862-866.

Powell, J.M., S. Fernandez-Rivera, and S. Hoefs. 1994.  Sheep diet effects on nutrient cycling in semi-arid mixed farming systems of West Africa. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 48:263-271.

Williams, T.O, J.M. Powell, and S. Fernandez-Rivera. 1995. Soil fertility maintenance and food production in semi-arid West Africa: Is reliance on manure a sustainable strategy?  Outlook on Agric. 24:43-47.

Williams, T.O, J.M. Powell, and S. Fernandez-Rivera. 1995. Manure availability in relation to sustainable food production in semi-arid West Africa. Quart. J. Internatl. Agric. 34:248-258.

Powell, J.M., S. Fernandez-Rivera, P. Hiernaux, and M.D. Turner. 1996. Nutrient cycling in integrated rangelend/cropland systems of the Sahel. Agric. Syst. 52:143-170.

Somda, Z.C., J.M. Powell, and A. Bationo. 1997. Soil pH and nitrogen changes following cattle and sheep urine deposition. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 28:1253-1268.

Brouwer, J., and J.M. Powell. 1998. Increasing nutrient use efficiency in West-African Agriculture: the impact of micro-topography on nutrient leaching from cattle and sheep manure. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 71: 229-239.

Powell, J.M., F.N. Ikpe, Z.C. Somda, and S. Fernandez-Rivera. 1998. Urine effects on soil chemical properties and impact of urine and dung on pearl millet yield. Exp. Agric. 34:259-276.

Powell, J.M., and P.W. Unger. 1998. Alternatives to crop residue management for natural resource conservation. J. Sust. Agric. 11:59-84.

Brouwer, J., and J.M. Powell. 1998.  Microtopography and leaching: possibilities for making more efficient use of nutrients in African agriculture. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 71:229-240.

Somda, Z.C., and J.M. Powell. 1998. Seasonal decomposition of sheep manure and forage leaves in soil. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 29:2961-2979.

Powell, J.M., and Z. Wu. 1999. 15N labeling of dairy feces and urine for nutrient cycling studies. Agron. J. 91:814-818.

Powell, J.M., F.N. Ikpe, and Z.C. Somda. 1999.  Crop yield and fate of nitrogen and phosphorus after application of plant material or feces to soil. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosyst. 54:215-226.

Ikpe, F.N., J.M. Powell, N.O. Isirimah, T.A.T. Wahua, and E.M. Ngodigha. 1999. Effects of primary tillage and soil amendment practices on pearl millet yield and nutrient uptake. Exp. Agric. 35:437-488.

Bundy, L.G., T.W. Andraski, and J.M. Powell. 2001. Management practice effects on phosphorus losses in runoff in corn production systems. J. Environ. Qual. 30:1822-28. 2001.

Powell, J.M., Z. Wu, and L.D. Satter. 2001. Dairy diet effects on phosphorus cycles of cropland. J. Soil Water Conserv. 56:22-26.

Powell, J.M., D. Jackson-Smith, and L.D. Satter. 2002. Phosphorus feeding and manure nutrient recycling on Wisconsin dairy farms. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosyst. 62:277-286.

Powell, J.M., Z. Wu, K.A. Kelling, P. Cusick, and G.R. Muñoz. 2004. Differential 15N labeling of dairy manure components for nitrogen cycling studies.  Agron. J. 96:433-441.

Powell, J.M., D.F. McCrory, D.B. Jackson-Smith, and H. Saam. 2005. Manure collection and distribution on Wisconsin dairy farms. J. Environ. Qual. 34:2036-2044.

Powell, J.M., K.A. Kelling, G.R. Muñoz, and P.R. Cusick. 2005. Evaluation of dairy manure 15N enrichment methods on short-term crop and soil N budget. Agron. J. 97:333-337.

Powell, J.M., M.A. Wattiaux, G.A. Broderick, V. Moreria, and M.D. Casler. 2006. Dairy diet impacts on fecal chemical properties and nitrogen cycling in soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 70:786-794.

Powell, J.M., D.B. Jackson-Smith, M. Mariola, and H. Saam. 2006. Validation of feed and manure management data collected on Wisconsin dairy farms. J. Dairy Sci. 89:2268-2278.

Powell, J.M., D.B. Jackson-Smith, D. McCrory, H. Saam, and M. Mariola. 2007. Nutrient management behavior on Wisconsin dairy farms. Agron. J. 99:211-219.

Powell, J.M., P.R. Cusick, T.H. Misselbrook, and B.J. Holmes. 2007. Design and calibration of chambers for measuring ammonia emissions from tie-stall dairy barns. Trans. ASABE 49(4):1139-1149.

Powell, J.M., T.H. Misselbrook, and M. Casler. 2008. Season and bedding impacts on ammonia emissions from tie-stall dairy barns. J. Environ. Qual. 7:7-15.

Powell, J.M., G.A. Broderick, and T.H. Misselbrook. 2008. Seasonal diet impacts on ammonia emissions from tie-stall dairy barns. J. Dairy Sci. 91:857-869.

Powell, J.M., Y. Li, Z.  Wu, G.A. Broderick, and B.J. Holmes. 2008. Rapid assessment of feed and manure nutrient management on confinement dairy farms. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosyst. 82:107-115.

Powell, J.M., and M.P. Russelle. 2009. Dairy heifer management impacts manure N collection and cycling through crops in Wisconsin, USA. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 131:170-177.

Powell, J.M., G.A. Broderick, J.H. Grabber, and U.C. Hymes Fecht. 2009. Effects of forage protein-binding polyphenols on chemistry of dairy excreta. J. Dairy Sci. 92:1765-1769.

Powell, J.M., and J.H. Grabber. 2009. Dietary forage impacts on dairy slurry nitrogen availability to corn. Agron. J. 101:747-753.

Powell, J.M., Gourley, C.J.P., Rotz, C.A. and Weaver, D.M. 2010. Nitrogen use efficiency: A potential performance indicator and policy tool for dairy farms. Environ. Sci. & Policy.13: 217-228.

Powell, J.M., W.E. Jokela, and T.H.Misselbrook. 2010. Dairy slurry application method effects on ammonia emission and nitrate leaching in no-till corn silage. J. Environ. Qual. 40:383-392

Powell, J.M., M.J. Aguerre, and M.A. Wattiaux. 2011. Tannin extracts abate ammonia emission from simulated dairy barn floors. J. Environ. Qual. 40:907-914.

Powell, J.M., M.J. Aguerre, and M.A. Wattiaux. 2011. Dietary crude protein and tannin impact dairy manure chemistry and ammonia emissions from soils. J. Environ. Qual. 40:1767-1774.

Powell, J.M., M.A. Wattiaux, and G.A. Broderick. 2011. Evaluation of milk urea nitrogen as a management tool to reduce ammonia emissions from dairy farms. J. Dairy Sci. 94:4690-4694.

Powell, J.M., and G.A. Broderick. 2011. Transdisciplinary soil science research: Impacts of dairy nutrition on manure chemistry and the environment. Soil. Sci. Soc. Am. J. 75:2071-2078.

Powell, J.M., S.A. Aarons, and C.J.P. Gourley. 2012. Determinations of feed-milk-manure relationships on grazing-based dairy farms. Animal 6: 1702-1710.

Powell, J.M., M. MacLeod, T.V. Vellinga, C. Opio, A. Falcucci, G. Tempio, H. Steinfeld, and P. Gerber. 2013. Feed-milk-manure nitrogen relationships in global dairy systems. Livestock Sci. 152: 261-272.

Powell, J.M., C.A. Rotz, and M.A. Wattiaux. 2014. Abatement of ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions from dairy farms using milk urea N. J. Environ. Qual. 43:1169-1175.

Powell, J.M. 2014. Feed and manure use in low-N-input and high-N-input dairy cattle production systems. Environ. Res. Lett. 115004. 8 p. Open Access. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/11/115004.

Powell, J.M, and C.A. Rotz. 2015. Measures of nitrogen use efficiency in dairy production systems. J. Environ. Qual. 44:336-344.

Powell JM. 2015. Need for more uniform terms and measures of nitrogen use efficiency in agricultural production. J. Soil Water Conserv. 70: 95-97.

Powell, J.M, and P.A. Vadas. 2016. Gas emissions from dairy barnyards. Anim. Prod. Sci. 56:355-361.

Powell, J.M., T. Barros, M. Danes, M. Aguerre, M. Wattiaux, and K. Reed. 2017. Nitrogen use efficiencies to grow, feed, and recycle manure from the major diet components fed to dairy cows in the USA. Agric. Ecosys. Environ. 239:274-282.