Wednesday, August 26, 2015

North Dakota Drone News -- Another First -- Shooting From Unmanned Drones -- The Daily Beast; Update On ND Farmers And Jet BioFuel -- August 26, 2015

The Winona Daily News is reporting that no frack sand shipments have come through the city harbor this year (2015):
The boom in sand shipments made 2014 a non-typical year. The silica sand, which was not shipped before 2010, went from 4,742 tons that year to peak at nearly 400,000 tons in 2014.
The city sits on the Mississippi River southeast of Minneapolis. I'm not exactly sure where this frack sand would go; I suppose it could be shipped a bit north to be put on Warren Buffett trains and then west to the Bakken, but more likely once on the barge, the sand heads south towards Louisiana and from there by rail to Texas. I don't know.

North Dakota Harvesting Carinata For Jet Biofuel

See also this post from April 28, 2015

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting: harvest is underway for North Dakota's first crop of jet fuel.
Western North Dakota farmers agreed to plant 6,000 acres of carinata, a variety of mustard seed and alternative crop to canola that can be made into a biofuel.
The crop also has the benefit of being close to canola for sale price but the seed is cheaper, leading to a lower cost of production and potentially higher profit margins. He doesn't have to worry about getting stuck with leftover crop either because his contract is for all that he produces.
In addition to Flasher in the southwest, about one-third was planted around Mott and there was some acreage around New Leipzig. In the northwest, there was some near Tioga and some in northeast Montana.
The crop will be delivered to the Ray Farmers Union Elevator, likely in November. Agrisoma is working on adding other elevators to the delivery list for next year.
Canada-based Patterson Grain will sell it on the market and it will be processed in the U.S. 
One potential consumer, the U.S. Navy, is targeting carinata to help reach its goal of serving half of its energy needs with non-oil sources by 2020.
Half its energy needs with non-oil sources by 2020. I assume this does not include fuel for the a/c carriers.

This amount of carinata biofuel will probably provide enough fuel for one F-14 sortie over Iran.  But if the government wants to spend $126/gallon for biofuel, they might as well buy it from North Dakota farmers. Willy Nelson would be happy.

Armed drones, US Navy biofuel, honey, ICBM weapons, oil, wheat, -- a pretty diversified economy for a little state.

Target Practice

This seems noteworthy:
North Dakota police will be free to fire "less than lethal" weapons from the air thanks to the influence of Big Drone. It is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones armed with everything from Tasers to tear gas.
With all the concern over the militarization of police in the past year, no one noticed that the state became the first in the union to allow police to equip drones with “less than lethal” weapons.
It's a pretty opinionated article but if you can get past the "garbage,' the article has some great data points. I'm not sure what "Big Drone" is and I bet the writer doesn't either.

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