Get ready, the U.S. could soon be facing a french fry shortage. Here's why:

1 month 3 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, December 03 2019 Dec 3, 2019 Tuesday, December 03, 2019 3:51:00 PM CST December 03, 2019 in News
By: Harmeet Kaur, CNN

(CNN) -- Winter is coming — for our French fries.

Unusually cold and wet weather during the potato harvest season has left some growers in the US and Canada unable to harvest a significant portion of their crop.

Now, processors across North America are rushing to find potatoes from additional sources to keep up with the increasing demand for fries, in news first reported by Bloomberg.

The US is the fifth largest producer of potatoes in the world, and the crop is grown in nearly every state. But this year, the amount of potatoes produced and harvested is down in some of the top-producing states, including Idaho, Oregon, and North Dakota.

Overall potato production in the US is forecast to fall about 6.1 percent from last year, according to a November report from the US Department of Agriculture. That's the lowest it's been since 2010.

In Idaho, which produces about a third of US potatoes, production is forecast to fall five percent from last year, USDA reported. About 308,000 acres were harvested, down about 7,000 from 2018.

In Canada, potato harvests in the western provinces of Manitoba and Alberta were particularly affected, according to Kevin MacIsaac, general manager for United Potato Growers of Canada.

For potato growers, that could mean significant losses, MacIsaac said. It could also mean that some growers might not be able to fulfill their contracts with processing companies.

Factories that supply potatoes to restaurants and grocery stores might have to rely on other sources or import them. And potatoes originally designated for other purposes, like chips or the bags of fresh potatoes you buy at the store, might instead be used to make French fries.

Despite cold weather affecting some of this year's crop, Frank Muir, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission, said he's not too worried. By the time the frost hit in October, Idaho farmers had harvested about 85 percent of their crop. And those potatoes were of good quality.

"Even though the weather took a bit of a top off our crop, we still are harvesting probably in the neighborhood of 13 billion pounds of potatoes," Muir told CNN.

Fast food prices aren't likely to change

If all this has you devising a plan to stockpile fries or take to the streets to demand your right to crispy, golden-brown spuds, you can sit tight for now.

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.

"[Fast food restaurants] look at that menu board as sacrosanct," Stephen Nicholson, a grains and oilseeds analyst at Rabo AgriFinance, told CNN. "They don't want to change that menu board unless they absolutely have to."

But though consumers might not see a difference on the fast food menu boards, Nicholson said prices for French fries could go up in other places, like local bars, casual dining chains and the produce and frozen aisles at grocery stores.

Though prices might go up a little, those in the industry say they don't think people will notice a difference.

"The consumer will see French fries," MacIsaac said. "It's just the behind the scenes, those raw potatoes may have moved in different areas than perhaps they would in areas where there's lots of supplies."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The CoMo Short Showcase highlights local filmmakers and their original work in the community. The goal is... More >>
6 minutes ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 4:45:00 AM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A hearing has been set for Joseph Elledge on Feb. 3 at 3:00 p.m. at the Boone County... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 8:02:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE – With the closing of Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Boonville, it will likely take longer for emergency officials to... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 7:50:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE (AP) - Missouri is planning to cut more than 1,700 beds at prisons across the state. Department of... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 6:47:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
GUTHRIE TOWNSHIP - Deputies have one suspect in custody in a murder investigation. The Callaway County Sheriff's Office said there... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 5:41:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Students avoided slick roads after the University of Missouri closed campus on Friday. The school alerted students... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 2:07:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After a heavy snow fall Thursday night, Susan Stephenson received notifications that Columbia Public Schools would not be... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 1:28:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia Public Works Street Division will start plowing and treating all city streets at 1... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 12:08:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone Electric Cooperative is reporting outages affecting nearly 5,000 customers Friday morning. The outages are reported across... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 10:22:00 AM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Officials with University of Missouri announced campus is closed Friday due to weather. The university earlier announced a... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 5:29:00 AM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BELLE - The Maries County Sheriff addressed concerned Belle residents Thursday after the town closed its police department earlier this... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:19:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - A multi-day storm system continues in central Missouri, eventually coming to an end this evening with snow accumulation... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 7:07:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY - After more than a year and a half of sitting empty, and with holes throughout, a Jefferson... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 6:16:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - Winter weather brings more than just frosty temperatures. It brings the unexpected. Especially when parents and grandparents are... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 5:06:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - This winter has brought above-average levels of snow and ice to mid-Missouri, and now, crews across the... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 4:18:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLE COUNTY - Construction on Route 54 south of Jefferson City will begin on Monday, January 27. The project is... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 3:32:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a man accused of assault. The... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:42:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
A replat of property at the northwest corner of Cherry and Hitt streets to accommodate plans for a six-story... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:21:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
5am 29°
6am 29°
7am 28°
8am 28°