John F. Nowatzki


Room 115
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
NDSU Dept. 7620
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050


John F. Nowatzki

Agricultural Machines Specialist


  • Develop and teach educational programs related to agriculture machinery selection and operation, geospatial technology for precision resource management, conservation tillage technologies, agricultural chemical application technology, energy conservation and alternative energy use.

Expertise Areas

  • Agricultural machine systems
  • Precision agriculture
  • Conservation technology
  • Farm equipment energy conservation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Farm chemical application technology
  • Wireless technology on Farms


M.S. Agricultural Education, 1974
North Dakota State University

B.S. Agricultural Education, 1968
North Dakota State University

Research Interests

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

  Smartphone Apps

Conservation Tillage

Farm Safety

John Nowatzki Curriculum Vitae

Education: North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, Bachelor of Science Degree, Agricultural Education, 1968. 

North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, Master of Science Degree, Agricultural Education, 1974

Duties and Responsibilities: Mr. Nowatzki coordinates the NDSU Extension agricultural machinery systems educational program. Subject matter areas include agricultural machinery selection and operation, precision agriculture, conservation tillage technologies, agricultural chemical application technology, and remote monitoring applications to farming.

Current Extension Activities

Precision Agriculture

Nowatzki regularly delivers educational presentations on various precision agriculture topics including farm data management, unmanned aircraft systems, LiDAR applications, variable rate fertilization of field crops, and sprayer boom section control. Mr. Nowatzki also conducts applied research collaborating with others NDSU faculty. Recent research topics include variable rate fertilization, optical sensors for in-season fertilization, and soil compaction. He is a principal coordinator for the annual Precision Ag Summit in Jamestown.

Nowatzki is the principal investigator on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) application to agriculture.This project is a “proof-of-concept” demonstrating specific UAS applications in production agriculture. Project personnel used UAS-mounted sensors to collect data of ongoing crop and livestock research projects during the 2014 crop season at the North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC). Project personnel collaborated with NDSU research scientists conducting research at the CREC, and used UAS-mounted sensors to monitor research fields at specific times as identified by the individual researchers. This project is expanded in 2015 to fly UAS over five NDSU Research Extension Centers across North Dakota. The primary goal of this project is a proof-of-concept of the usefulness and effectiveness of UAS in crop and livestock management in North Dakota. Project personnel are demonstrating effective UAS applications in crop and livestock management, and demonstrating instances where UAS are not effective. Project personnel are developing data processing methods and tools to convert image data to information that farmers, ranchers and consultants can use in their businesses.

Related Publications

  • 1.Numerous North Dakota State University News Releases and News Media Articles.
  • 2.Berglund, Duane, H. Kandel, J. Nowatzki, et al. A1133 Dry Bean Production Guide, Revised 2013. NDSU Extension Service.
  • 3.Thomas J. Gulya, Suzanne Rooney-Latham, Jean S. Miller, Kathleen Kosta, Colleen Murphy-Vierra, Carrie Larson,William Vaccaro, Hans Kandel and John F. Nowatzki. 2012. Sunflower Diseases Remain Rare in California Compared to North Dakota. Sunflower Magazine. National Sunflower Association, Mandan, ND 58554-4829.
  • 4.T. J. Gulya, Hans Kandel, M. McMullen, Jan Knodel, D. Bergland, F. Mathew, A. Lamey, John Nowatzki, and S. G. Markell. 2012. Prevalence and Incidence of Sunflower Downy Mildew in North Dakota from 2001 to 2011. Proceedings of the 2012 International Sunflower Synposium.
  • 5.Maung, Thein A., C Gustafson, D Saxowsky, T Miljkovic, J Nowatzki. 2011. Market Information on Sourcing Cellulosic Feedstock for Biofuel Production in Northern Plains Region of the United States.Journal of Agriculture, Science and Technology.
  • 6.Nowatzki, J., G. Endres, J. DeJong-Hughes, D Aakre. 2011. AE-1370 Strip Till for Field Crop Production, Equipment, Production, Economics - Revised. NDSU Extension Service.
  • 7.Kandel, H., Nowatzki, J. et al. Soybean Production Field Guide for North Dakota and Northwestern Minnesota. 2010. NDSU Extension Service.
  • 8.Nowatzki, J., V Hofman. 2009. AE-1445 Variable-rate Fertilization for Field Crops: Equipment Requirements. NDSU Extension Service.
  • 9.Nowatzki, J., D Clay. 2009. Using GPS with GIS for Efficient Nutrient Placement. Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
  • 10.Nowatzki, J., A Swenson, D. Wiesenborn. 2007. AE-1351 Small-scale Biodiesel Production. NDSU Extension Service.
  • 11.Wilson, J., V. Hofman, J. Nowatzki. 2008. FS 919 Choosing Drift-reducing Nozzles. NDSU Extension Service.
  • 12.Ransom, J. D. Aakre, D. Franzen, H. Kandel, J. Knodel, G. Lardy, J. Nowatzki, K. Sedivec, R. Zollinger. 2008. A-1364 Bringing Land in the Conservation Reserve Program Back Into Crop Production or Grazing. NDSU Extension Service.
  • 13.Nowatzki, J. 2008. AE-1149 Anhydrous Ammonia: Managing the Risks. NDSU Extension Service.
  • 14.Pedersen, C., K. Hellevang, T. Scherer, J. Nowatzki. 2008. AE-1366 Farm Energy Audit. NDSU Extension Service.
  • 15.Nowatzki, J., R. Ashley, V. Hofman. 2007. AE-1351 Conservation Tillage Seeding
  • 16.Nowatzki, J.,R. Andres, K. Kyllo. 2004. Agricultural Remote Sensing Basics. NDSU Extension Service.
  • 17.Nowatzki, J., V. Hofman, L. Disrud, K. Nelson. 2004. GPS Applications in Crop Production. NDSU Extension Service.

Professional Experience

Extension Programs

Professional Memberships

  • American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers