Due to recent cold temperatures and wet weather, crops have been damaged throughout the U.S. and Canada, which could potentially cause a Fry shortage in the near future if action isn’t taken immediately.
Potato producers are quickly retrieving supplies to ship across North America in an effort to save French fries.
Back in October, potatoes began to be covered in frost due to cool conditions in growing regions. While farmers in Alberta and Idaho were able to store their damaged crops, other farmers in Manitoba, North Dakota, and Minnesota were forced to get rid of their supplies after they were damaged due to rain and snow.
Industry relations director Travis Blacker explained the current situation in an interview with the Idaho Potato Commission, stating, “French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can’t meet the demand.”
Canada will likely have a higher demand for potatoes due to an increase in fry-processing capacity, which could result in an increase in prices as well as limited potatoes for the U.S., according to senior grains and oilseeds analyst Stephen Nicholson.
According to Bloomberg, potato producers are reporting that they are attempting to purchase potatoes from across the continent due to harvest being ruined throughout the U.S. and Canada. This also marks the lowest potato crop forecast since 2010, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The news outlet also reports that 18 percent of the potato acreage in Manitoba was damaged and unharvested as a result of the weather, while 6.5 percent of Alberta crops went bad due to frost damage. Manitoba and Alberta are ranked as the second and third largest growers in Canada.
While some growers are fearful of a potential fry shortage, other companies like Cavendish Farms reveal to Bloomberg there’s no reason to worry as the East Coast products will make the difference.
The government is scheduled to release crop estimates Friday, according to Bloomberg.