U.S. facing possible french fry shortage due to weak potato harvest

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts domestic output will drop 6.1 per cent this year to the lowest since 2010.
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"French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can't meet the demand", industry-relations director with the Idaho Potato Commission, Travis Blacker, told Bloomberg.

Domestic output this year will see a 6.1% decline, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is the lowest since 2010.

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.

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He told Bloomberg: 'French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can't meet the demand'.


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

Cold, wet weather in key locations for potato production across the United States and Canada could lead to higher prices and a shortage of French fries, Bloomberg reports.

Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada, added: 'Potatoes are going to have to move from one channel to another that they sometimes don't move in a normal year'.

Potato crop yields dropped in areas like Alberta, Colorado, Idaho, Manitoba, North Dakota, and Minnesota due to cold weather snaps between September and November. "Several farmers left potatoes in the ground to avoid the cost of digging them up". Manitoba and Alberta are the second- and third-largest growers in Canada, respectively, and the government is expected to release crop estimates Friday.

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