According to the USDA, adversarial weather put a strain on potato production across America this year, accounting for a 6.1% decline, the lowest potato tally seen since 2010. Ag experts say excessive cold and wet weather put the squeeze on spuds in leading potato producing regions like Idaho, Colorado, North Dakota, Maine and Oregon.
Though, according to Washington State Potato Commission Executive Director Chris Voigt, the Evergreen State was immune to the deficiency seen in other parts of the US In fact, Voigt says potato production in Washington state was up 1% in 2019. Experts reportedly fear that America may experience a French fry shortage, but Voigt argues against that notion.
“IF we experience any kind of fry shortage, it will likely only affect specialty cut fries like waffle fries for a month in a region in the south,” Voigt told iFIBER ONE News.
As far as why we’re seeing a boost in potatoes in 2019, Voigt says demand for French fries is “red hot” in the Pacific Rim. Voigt says many fast-food restaurants in Asia are going to western-style fast-food restaurants.
Washington produces 30 billion potatoes each year, with 70% of Washington’s potato crop being exported. This annual average crop weighs 4.5 mln tons.