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A Silicon Valley for drones in North Dakota

Sparsely populated region has the space for testing and plenty of expertise already in place

North Dakota has spent about US$34 million fostering the state's unmanned aerial vehicle business, most notably with a civilian industrial park for drones near Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Fargo, North Dakota

"CALIFORNIA and New York want what we've got," said Shawn Muehler, a 30-year-old Fargo resident, gazing at a horizon of empty fields, silos, windbreak trees and hardly any people. A winged craft traces the air, mapping a field with pinpoint accuracy for his startup, a...