Drone use on the rise — for farming

Drones, but for farming. Chris Hrapsky at KARE-TV files the latest report on the growing popularity of drones for agriculture. “[Jerry Johnson’s] latest design is the Vireo Air Vehicle. At three pounds, the automated farm drone can survey every single plant in a farmer’s field showing any trouble spots a farmer may not be able to see from the ground. ‘They can show us lack of nitrogen, water stress,’ said Johnson. ‘They can show us where the bugs are.’ Last year, Farm Intelligence used drones on 19 fields in Minnesota. This year the company has flown over 200.”

Are you thinking of driving anywhere in town this weekend? Don’t. At MPR, Tim Nelson says, “Drivers should be ready for major road hassles in the southwest suburbs this weekend. … Northbound I-35W between 66th Street in Richfield and Interstate 94 in Minneapolis will close from 11:45 p.m. tonight through 5 a.m. Monday. That includes ramps at 66th, 60th, 46th and 35th streets and Portland, 5th and Franklin Avenues. … Both directions of Minnesota Highway 62 and Minnesota Highway 212 at U.S. Highway 169 will be closed from 10 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m. Monday for bridge painting.”

The message appears to be, “sort of opposed but mostly indifferent.” The Strib’s latest Minnesota Poll surveys the appeal of the big PolyMet mining project up north. Corey Mitchell writes, “Support among Minnesotans for a proposed copper and nickel mine in the state’s northeast corner is slumping, according to a Star Tribune Minnesota poll. Forty percent of Minnesotans approve of PolyMet Mining Corp.’s proposal, a six-percentage-point decline from a poll conducted in February. Despite the slide, a statewide groundswell of opposition has not emerged. The percentage of Minnesotans who think the project should be rejected crept up to 23 percent from 21 percent.”

The latest in police brutality pay-outs: Brandt Williams at MPR says, “The Minneapolis City Council today will consider approving a $50,000 police brutality lawsuit settlement. According to the complaint filed in federal court, in 2012, after a night of drinking and dining, Alicia Joneja was sleeping in the lobby of her apartment building because she forgot her keys; a neighbor called 911 out of concern for her. Joneja alleged one of the responding officers, Heather Sterzinger, struck Joneja in the torso with one of her knees, slammed her head into the concrete floor and dragged her across the floor causing injuries to her leg and shoulder.”

Kind of related. At City Pages, Jesse Marx follows up on Minneapolis Police Chief Harteau’s decision not to attend a community meeting. “Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau pulled out of a town hall-type event Thursday, claiming her presence might agitate folks in the crowd. … The event was organized by city council member Alondra Cano, through the Sabathani Community Center, as a way to create dialogue between police and communities of color. The discussion went on in Harteau’s absence, but the no-show didn’t help her image. It emboldened members of the public who believe she enables a culture of brutality and discrimination that results in large settlements every year.”

The GleanThat didn’t take long. Says Joy Powell in the Strib: “The man who escaped a Hennepin County courtroom Thursday afternoon while on trial for attempted murder has been apprehended, Minneapolis police said Friday morning. Michael David Henderson was arrested by Minneapolis police officers without incident around 7 a.m. in the 2400 block of Garfield Avenue South, according to John Elder, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department.”

Everyone wants to be a hero. Mark Brunswick of the Strib tells the tale a fake military warrior. “He cut an impressive figure in his Army dress blues and his high and tight haircut. His uniform bore the medals and awards of a war hero: Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, a Ranger Tab, Master Jump Wings. … Now 55-year-old Richard Arthur Rahn is behind bars in Kandiyohi County, charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Local authorities are forwarding their investigation to a federal prosecutor for possible action against Rahn for fraudulent use of a military uniform, insignia or medals.” Why dodge a lot of bullets if you can just pick the stuff up at a surplus store?

This might actually help. Keith Norman of the Forum News Service says, “Officials see a new propane terminal at Hannaford as a way to combat the shortages and high prices seen last year. The $6.5 million terminal is a project of CHS and Central Plains Ag Services and will bring propane from the Oil Patch to users in eastern North Dakota. … The Hannaford terminal will take delivery of propane by rail…”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Brian Scholin on 09/19/2014 - 02:44 pm.

    Drone Picture

    Sheesh! I sure hope they’re not using THAT drone for farming…

  2. Submitted by E Gamauf on 09/20/2014 - 08:03 am.

    Drones, drones, drones

    Does anyone else feel like they’re in the middle of a science fiction novel?

    Useful, yes. Sounds like they are in farming.
    They take nice pictures & movies if in the hands of someone that has the skill & talent.

    I’m waiting for drone paintball, myself.

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 09/21/2014 - 12:00 am.


      You sure do drone on about them. But you paint a good picture with your paintball suggestion. I think you may have planted a seed of a new idea there.

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