- Cold weather has damaged potato yields in North America, which is now threatening the availability of french fries in the US, Bloomberg reported Monday.
- 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.
- 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.
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Cold weather has led to a potato shortage in North America, threatening the availability of french fries, Bloomberg reported Monday.
Potato crop yields dropped in areas like Alberta and Manitoba in Canada and Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota, and Minnesota in the US because of cold-weather snaps from September to November.
Bloomberg reported that retailers were after long potatoes to make their french fries, but there have been fewer of those as the cold weather has stunted their growth and destroyed some crop yields altogether.
“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.
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.
It said potato production for the 2019 crop year was forecast at 22.4 million tons, down 6% from the prior year.
“In Idaho, growers reported losses due to freezing temperatures in late September and early October. Several farmers left potatoes in the ground to avoid the cost of digging them up,” the USDA said.
“Washington producers reported some quality concerns due to soil borne issues and freeze damage at the end of the harvest season.”
“Prolonged wet conditions during late September and early October hampered harvest progress in the Red River Valley of North Dakota. As of the week ending November 3, harvest was at 73% well behind normal,” the department said.
The United Potato Growers of Canada told Bloomberg that about 18% of the potato harvest had to be abandoned this year.