Potato crop damage due to cold and wet weather is causing a shortage of the starchy tuber in North America, which may affect the availability and price of french fries.
Regions in the United States and Canada were hit hard, especially in October, with cold weather, and while some farmers in Alberta and Idaho were able to dig up and store the damaged crops, other states and territories were forced to abandon the ruined potatoes, Bloomberg is reporting.
The increase in demand for french fries, coupled with the shortage – especially of longer potatoes, which fry processors prefer – could make prices rise for the vegetable.
“French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can’t meet the demand,” Travis Blacker, industry-relations director with the Idaho Potato Commission, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the nation’s output of potatoes will drop 6.1 percent compared to the previous year. Idaho’s output is forecast to drop by 5.5 percent, Business Insider reports.