U.S. may face French fry shortage due to poor potato crop

03 Décembre, 2019, 16:53 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • French fries

Frosts stunted the growth of the long potatoes which are preferable for making French fries, and retailers are importing foreign stocks to make up for it.

The US Department of Agriculture said on November 8 that potato production for the 2019 crop year was forecast at 22.4 million tons, down 6% from the prior year.

"French-fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can't meet the demand", Travis Blacker, the industry-relations director with the Idaho Potato Commission, told Bloomberg.

Cold weather from September to November affected potato yields in Alberta, Idaho, Manitoba, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

That next cheeseburger order may be missing that side of French fries after cold and wet weather reportedly damaged potato crops in the US and Canada.

Potato producers told the news outlet that they are attempting to purchase potatoes from across the continent after multiple harvests in Canada and the US were ruined.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that potato production will drop a little over 6 percent this year, the lowest drop since 2010.

Potato crop yields dropped in areas like Alberta, Colorado, Idaho, Manitoba, North Dakota, and Minnesota due to cold weather snaps between September and November.

The impact of the unseasonal weather means smaller potatoes for French fry processors, which typically use longer potatoes to produce their fries, Blomberg reported.

"Washington producers reported some quality concerns due to soil borne issues and freeze damage at the end of the harvest season".

The United Potato Growers of Canada told Bloomberg that about 18% of the potato harvest had to be abandoned this year.

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