The United States could be facing a French fry shortage

Cornelia Mascio
Dicembre 3, 2019

In some places, harvests were lost altogether, Bloomberg said, while frosts also stunted the growth of the long potatoes that are preferable for making french fries.

"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.

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

The impact of the unseasonal weather means smaller potatoes for French fry processors, which typically use longer potatoes to produce their fries, Blomberg reported. Growers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Canada's Manitoba, were even worse off: Snow and rain forced them to abandon potential potatoes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that domestic potato output will drop as much as 6.1% this year, marking the lowest potato harvest since 2010, and for Idaho, the largest producer of potatoes, will reportedly see their crop drop by 5.5%.

The US Department of Agriculture predicted in a report on November 8 that the production of potatoes at US farms would drop substantially this year.

"Production of potatoes for the 2019 crop year is forecast at 422 million cwt [22.4 million tons] down 6% from last year", it said.

"Prolonged wet conditions during late September and early October hampered harvest progress in the Red River Valley of North Dakota".

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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