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Construction has been a boon to merchants, including Ed Lehrke, owner of Ed's North Country Meats.

Canola oil brings housing crunch to northwest Minnesota

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HALLOCK, Minn. -- Big rigs. Big money. Jobs aplenty. Scarce housing. A woeful region revitalized by oil.

In many ways, the northwestern corner of Minnesota has the feel of western North Dakota. However, the oil driving this revival is not crude. It's canola.

One-fourth of the way through construction and 14 months before production starts, the $168 million canola plant rising on the prairie already is providing a much-needed jolt to the economy.

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