U.S May Face French Fry Shortage Due To Poor Potato Crop

By, Destiny Garner

Contributing Writer for Telegraph LocalCould you see yourself ordering a cheeseburger without French fries? No French fries at the football or basketball game? Well get prepared to look for other options if you’re in the U.S or Canada. The price for French fries may soon rise due to harsh weather conditions.

Farmers are struggling to harvest potatoes in the U.S and Canada due to cold weather and rain. Areas like Manitoba, Minnesota, and North Dakota that has been hit with snow and rain from September to November are experiencing a shortage in crops, making harvest season difficult. As a result of cold weather, small and damaged potatoes had been pulled up by farmers. Potatoes that are too damaged are being left in the soil to cut the cost of digging damaged potatoes. As of now, 18% of potato harvest in 2019 were damaged. Farmers were only able to salvage a small batch of potatoes, which means prices will soon rise. In November, The U.S Department of Agriculture predicted the potato production will drop to more than 6.1%. The U.S will be forced to purchase potatoes outside of the U.S and Canada. Harsh weather conditions also means minimal export to other countries. Which will be another lost of profit for North America. 

Harvesting issues this season will cause prices for potatoes to rise in Canada and the U.S, especially for larger potatoes that makes good for French fries. Short and stubby potatoes are another result of weather conditions. This is an issue when long potatoes are desired for processing French fries. While there’s a shortage in potato supply, the demand for potatoes in Canada has increased. Retailers want long potatoes for French fries, however the cold weather has shortened the growth of most of the crop. Although there will be a shortage in French fries, mashed potatoes and other potato recipes will still be an option. The use of sweet potatoes as a replacement is another option for the shortage in potatoes. Although the taste may be different, sweet potatoes are a healthier choice. Could this really be a bad change for the U.S? 

Other options will include a different cut to fries rather than the traditional straight cut. French fries and potatoes won’t be going anywhere any time soon, however the cost for your favorite cut will increase within the next few months. How much are you willing to pay for your favorite fast food item? Could you go without an order of fries for a few months? Or could you settle for sweet potatoes? 

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