Matt Ruark

Soil Extension Specialists/Faculty

Matthew D. Ruark
Assistant Professor
B.S. Environmental Science, 1999, University of Minnesota
M.S. Soil Science, 2002, University of Minnesota
Ph.D. Agronomy, 2006, Purdue University
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California-Davis, 2006-2008
Room 158 Soils
1525 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(office) 608.263.2889 – (fax) 608.265.2595


Program Affiliations
Department of Soil Science
Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies

Teaching and Research
My overall goals of my research and extension programs are to: (1) improve nutrient use efficiency in grain, vegetable, organic, and biofuel production systems and (2) reduce edge-of-field losses of contaminants from agricultural production systems.

Current research projects:
Grain crops

  • Slow-release nitrogen fertilizer use in no-till continuous corn systems
  • Nitrogen use efficiency in long-term, conventional tillage, continuous corn production systems


  • Slow-release nitrogen, urease inhibitor, and nitrification inhibitor fertilizer use in potato production systems
  • Nitrogen leaching losses in potato production systems on sandy soils
  • Nitrogen use efficiency of improved sweet corn hybrids
  • Interaction between sweet corn hybrid, planting density, and nitrogen fertilizer application rate


  • Cover crop species and timing of plow-under in a diverse organic crop rotation
  • Performance of leguminous cover crops with and without oat companion crop


  • Nitrogen use efficiency in continous corn rotation systems with annual removal of stover
  • Nitrogen management of switchgrass in Wisconsin

Water Quality

  • Nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon losses from tile drained cropping systems in Wisconsin


Selected Publications
Ruark, M.D., B.A. Linquist, C. Van Kessel, J. Six, C.A. Greer, R.G. Mutters, and J.E. Hill. 2009. Seasonal losses of dissolved organic carbon and total dissolved solids from rice production systems in northern California. Accepted – J. Environ. Qual.

Linquist, B.A., J.E. Hill, R.G. Mutters, C.A. Greer, C. Hartley, M.D. Ruark, and C. van Kessel. 2009. Assessing the necessity of surface applied pre-plant nitrogen fertilizer in rice systems. Accepted – Agron. J.

Ruark, M.D., S.M. Brouder, and R.F. Turco. 2009. Dissolved organic carbon losses from tile drained agroecosystems. J. Environ. Qual. 38:1205-1215.

Ruark, M.D., J.A. Lamb, and R.W. Rehm. 2006. Phosphorus runoff from sugarbeet production systems as affected by tillage and phosphorus fertilizer placement. J. Sugar Beet Res. 43:65-84.