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Minnesota, North Dakota border agents seize thousands of plants, fruit over the summer

Officers seized more than 8,000 fruit and plant items that could be carrying pests or diseases that would hurt the area's agriculture industry.
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Officers seized more than 8,000 fruit and plant items that could be carrying pests or diseases that would hurt the area's agriculture industry.

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The Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirms spotted wing drosophila, an invasive pest of Asian origin, was found in Hennepin County this month. The pest feeds on healthy, ripening fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, plums and cherries. Anyone who finds small, white maggots in what was healthy fruit is asked to call the state agriculture department.

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The state of North Dakota and its coal power industry want to overturn a Minnesota law that limits imports of electricity generated by coal. Critics claim the law is unconstitutional and unfairly limits business between the states.

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The new plant, located near Minot, North Dakota, is expected to be operating by spring of 2013. Forum Communications reports it will be capable of producing up to 75 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

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Minnesota-based Otter Tail Corp. is looking to sell its wind tower manufacturing plants in North Dakota and Oklahoma for $20 million. The future is uncertain for the 216 jobs in West Fargo and 167 in Tulsa. An Otter Tail spokesman tells the Fargo Forum the company hopes the new owners "see the value in our plants and skilled workforce."

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