America Might Face French Fry Shortage After Poor Potato Harvest

America Might Face French Fry Shortage After Poor Potato Harvest

Potato processors are rushing to purchase and ship them throughout North America with a purpose to hold French fries on the menu after chilly, wet weather damaged crops in key producers within the U.S. and Canada.

Cool conditions began to hit growing areas in October, lashing potatoes with frost. Farmers in Alberta and Idaho had been capable of dig up some damaged crops for storage. However, growers in Manitoba, North Dakota, and Minnesota acquired snow and rain, forcing them to desert some provides in fields.

Because of the wild climate damage crops, a rise in fry-processing capability in Canada has boosted demand, the combination will result in tight provides, and it’s probably that potato costs may climb this year across North America, Stephen Nicholson, a senior grains and oilseeds analyst at Rabobank, mentioned in a phone interview. International prices may rise because the U.S. won’t be capable of exporting as a lot.

The United Potato Growers of Canada estimates about 12,000 Manitoba acres (about 4,900 hectares), or 18% of the province’s planted space, had been left unharvested — equal to what was abandoned in Canada last season. About 6.5% of Alberta’s potatoes are estimated to be frost damaged. Manitoba is the nation’s second-largest grower, followed by Alberta. Prince Edward Island is No. 1. The government will problem estimates for the nation’s crop on Dec. 6.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts home output will drop 6.1% this year to the lowest since 2010, the company stated in a Nov. 8 report. In Idaho, the highest producer, the output is forecast to fall by 5.5%.

A part of the issue for processors is the crop damage means potatoes are coming in smaller. French-fry makers often favor longer spuds.