America to be hit by french fry shortage after terrible potato harvest – The Sun

AMERICA could be hit by french fry shortages after wild weather has severely damaged potatoes across the country.

The harm caused by the cold and wet climes have left companies scrambling to snap-up spud supplies from elsewhere in the world.

Potatoes are the nation's leading vegetable crop, an industry that was valued at $3.77 billion (£2.9bn) last year, AGMRC found.

Each American gobbles 29lb (2st 1lb) of fries each year according to BuzzFeed – the equivalent weight of 20 dozen eggs.

The cool conditions, which started to strike key US growing regions in October, have lashed potatoes with frost and ruined crop supplies.

This has led to the smallest harvest since 2010, with around 420 million cwt (100lb or 7stone) extracted this year, Bloomberg reported.

The amount is around 25 million cwt lower than the previous year and just over 15 million cwt more than the worst harvest in a decade.

French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can’t meet the demand.

Farmers in Idaho, the nation's biggest potato grower, were able to dig up some crops for storage but many were destroyed.

Other in Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota were forced to abandon some supplies after lashings of snow and rain.

Travis Blacker, of the Idaho Potato Commission, said: "French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can’t meet the demand."


The crisis, which has also hit Canada, meant that 18 per cent of the 12,000 acres of planted areas in Manitoba were left unharvested.

That figure, from the province's second largest grower, was equivalent to all of the abandoned potatoes from last year.

But Kevin MacIsaac, of the United Potato Growers of Canada, told Bloomberg that it was "a manageable situation".

He said: "Potatoes are going to have to move from one channel to another that they sometimes don’t move in a normal year."

One main problems of the surviving spuds is that they are smaller – french fries are usually made from longer potatoes.

Last year 454.3 million cwt (100lb or seven stone) of potatoes were produced in the US alone, Statista reported.

Of that amount 63 per cent were turned into french fries, chips, dehydrated potatoes and other products, AGMRC found.

The shortage has forced potato producers to desperately try to ship in the crop from outside of North America.

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