US facing possible french fry shortage due to weak potato harvest

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Even Idaho, the top producer in the USA, is forecast to fall 5.5% in potato production.

Cool conditions in October crippled some potato harvests with frost, likely increasing prices in potatoes and even a possible french fry shortage in the United States, according to Bloomberg. While some farmers were able to save portions of their crops for storage, United Potato Growers of Canada estimates that about one fifth of Manitoba's potato crops went unharvested.

After suffering low yields due to Hurricane Florence previous year, sweet potato crops are back on track in North Carolina, the leading producer in the United States.

That means smaller and fewer potatoes, and smaller spuds are harder for french fry processors.

"Production of potatoes for the 2019 crop year is forecast at 422 million cwt [22.4 million tons], down 6% from last year", the Department of Agriculture said on November 8.

The cold and wet weather this year has stunted the growth of potatoes.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that potato production will drop a little over 6 percent this year, the lowest drop since 2010.

Factories that supply potatoes to restaurants and grocery stores might have to rely on other sources or import them.

You could also try eating a salad on the side - unless you're ride-or-die for the greasy, crispy taste of a fry.

The potential shortage is a "manageable situation", Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada, tells Robinson. Then you better start stocking up on potatoes.

Experts say that prices at fast food restaurants like McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy's have been fixed for the year through contracts and are unlikely to change. "They don't want to change that menu board unless they absolutely have to". "Potatoes are. 20 percent more expensive than a year ago and frozen fries up 17 per cent from a year ago".

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