For a small operation, for us. Bill Bostock 12/2/2019 Despite Trump’s pressure, most Americans think it is unsafe to reopen schools, Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Zak: Grocery stores or retails would have been bursting to the seams with potatoes if we had redirected all that. “It doesn’t take a great scientist to figure it out. Prairie yields currently look average at best. But this year's, there's just no market for them, and we're just taking them out, taking them into a burial pit. Narrator: These potatoes aren't gonna end up on your dinner table. In Western Canada, the crop is running behind schedule as processors push to get new crop harvest underway. Peggy: Right now it's, like, 200,000, roughly, in there, with everything, I would say. As a result, Canadians and Americans are eating fewer french fries than usual. What are we dealing with? Rainfall is critical for this crop. since. Narrator: To save some of the potatoes from going to waste, Buyan Ranch got creative. Zak Miller: More than half of our market shut down by government mandate. Week after week, it delivers the information farmers have come to rely on. Zak: Think of everything from white-table restaurants clear down to your fast, quick service. 12.10.2020, 2:56pm. by The Counter. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. So why did this all happen? Zak: Even though they're losing money on them, they'd rather see someone eat them than nothing happen at all. December 02, 2020 13:53 IST. WA plants and harvests potatoes year-round so are able to supply fresh potatoes 52 weeks of the year. The immediate consequence is that potato processing plants operated by McCain Foods, Cavendish Farms and J.R. Simplot have cut production of french fries, hash browns and frozen potato products. Get Rediff News in your Inbox: email. Now that processors have stopped frying potatoes or cut production, the 2019 crop could satisfy demand for 15 to 16 months. Narrator: The surplus potatoes also couldn't just be sent to grocery stores. No comments. Once the sit-down portions of restaurants closed … then all you have left is drive thrus to (sell) french fries,” said Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of United Potato Growers of Canada. Narrator: Farmers are also mashing up potatoes into a compost-like mixture to feed cattle next year. The Federal Government’s announcement that all people arriving in Australia, including citizens, must self-isolate for a fortnight could have implications for agricultural workers. In the fresh segment... Zak: You're actually seeing the potato in its true form. Cold weather and the impact of Hurricane Dorian have damaged potato crops in the United States and Canada. An unusually cold and wet potato harvest season may lead to a French fry shortage in the US. Since there will be a shortage of these workers, the industry now looks at other industries to possibly attract workers from. Multiple news headlines this week have warned of a “possible French fry shortage” this year after a … That’s where you’re finding the volume cuts for the 2020 crop across North America (for process potatoes).”. Bankruptcies are starting to creep up. $400 million plant in Lethbridge last year and JR Simplot spent $450 million to double the size of its facility in Portage la Prairie. They'll be looking into increasing their lines of credit, they'll be needing to remortgage some of their property, you know, just trying to free up more capital to try and survive for next year. The Red Lion: Is there a potato shortage ????? Narrator: Buyan grows three different disease-free seed strains: Umatilla, Clearwater, and Russet Burbank potatoes. Narrator: All in all, an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of potatoes are trapped in the supply chain across the US. BEGIN SAVING NOW, MEMBERS GET MORE! Potato Board. Seed potatoes make their way through a … Extremely cold weather and storm systems have and will continue to put a strain on the Idaho potato industry as … And more than half of the industry's potatoes were stranded on seed farms. “An additional 3,500 acres will need to be planted this year to meet the needs of the Cavendish Farms Expansion,” United Potato Growers of Canada said in a March report. Instead, they're throwing away 700 tons. In 2020, there have been some challenges, besides COVID-19, … Now they're facing a 20-year low. By Harmeet Kaur, CNN. She's distributed them down on our street in town, just set up and people stop, they give them a bag of potatoes. Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Narrator: Before the pandemic, Zak estimates Idaho farmers were looking at a 15-year high in potato prices. Processors cut down orders with growers. Once the potatoes are out of the ground, they go into storage or are sent to a factory, where they're cleaned and turned into either fresh or processed potatoes. It's the supply chain from the growers to the supermarket that got interrupted. Updated October 15, 2020 9:30 am Britain is facing a sweet potato shortage after extreme weather hurt US crops and import costs rose thanks to a falling pound. That's a fairly rigorous process that avoids disease, imperfections. The potato is arguably one of the most versatile side dishes out there. Maybe if there are smaller gatherings, people might want smaller birds." Zak: But that's the plight of a farmer. There are growing districts on PEI which have had a much better summer with timely rainfall events, but they have been very localized making predictions on crop yield almost impossible. News. Despite road blocks, there's no shortage of potato, onion in Delhi By Sanjeeb Mukherjee. Narrator: Now back to the farm. In Manitoba, about 5,000 more acres were needed to satisfy the JR Simplot plant. Zak: If you're a fresh-product grower, you'll plant a different variety, or a different genetic line of potatoes. A potato paucity is upon us, and French fry aficionados are worried. Narrator: And the same thing is happening across the Northwest. “Some (regions) are more and some are less.”. The Western Producer is Western Canada’s most respected farm paper. Zak: Virtually all the potatoes grown started out from a certified seed. US experiencing shortage of potatoes used for French fries. While retail demand is surging, demand from the food service sector -- restaurants, caterers, cafeterias -- … Bill: It's costing us money just to bury these. Zak: Going forward this year, I think the farmers are doing the right thing. MacIsaac said the situation is similar across the country. Idaho leads the nation in potato production producing nearly 1/3 of all U.S. potatoes. Consumers are worried about the possibility of not having enough French fries, after this year's potato shortage. Narrator: That's foods like a raw potato at a grocery store or au gratin potatoes at your favorite restaurant. It's pretty devastating, you know? The Federal Government’s announcement that all people arriving in Australia, including citizens, must self-isolate for a fortnight could have implications for agricultural workers. Supply? Farmers farm for the love of farming, and even in tough times, we still will continue to farm for the love of farming. The situation in Australia is the same. Bill Buyan: The potatoes have been awful good to us for a lot of years, but this year it just really turned sour. Conditions varied by growing area, but they combined to tighten supplies of both table and processing potatoes. In bad years, you just start over the next year and hope for a better, you know, better season. Zak says a 100-pound sack of potatoes went from costing about $12 a sack to $3 a sack, and a farmer needs it to cost at least $5 to break even. Market Alert – Potato Shortage Continues As we Approach the 2019-2020 storage potato season, we are now seeing the effects of the challenges we faced along the way. It starts with a seed grower like Buyan, where farmers grow a variety of seed strains. Canadian Potato Crop Update August 20, 2020 provided by the United Potato Growers of Canada. In the spring, companies and provincial potato grower associations hold meetings to negotiate the volume and price of processing potato contracts. Experts fear a 12-week gap could open up in the UK supply in 2020 as a result of the loss of the main chemical used on stored spuds. 2020’s latest (but least surprising) shortage: antacids . The situation in Australia is the same. Demand? Canada is currently facing a nationwide potato shortage that farmers are calling completely unprecedented. Jun 29, 2020, 10:48 AM When COVID-19 closed down restaurants and hotels, potatoes headed toward food service had nowhere to go. News > Agriculture Bad weather causes potato shortage everywhere, except in Washington. The region is the largest producer of red potatoes in the country and … If french fry sales remain weak for months, that stockpile will last much longer than usual. Each potato variety goes to a specific grower in either the fresh or processed segment. Right now, parts of Eastern Canada are facing moderate to severe drought conditions. Source: Alamy . For farmers across Idaho and Montana, that number comes to $8 million. Sather and Byre are in agreement that the red potato varieties will see the largest shortage of seed in the spring of 2020 and that could have an impact on growers in the Red River Valley. If a potato shortage did turn out to actually impact eating habits, however, french fries wouldn’t exactly be topping my list of concerns. Is there a potato shortage 2019? Processors have filled up their freezer space and slowed or stopped production of french fries and hash browns. The situation changes every day, but potato acres in Canada and the United States could take a dramatic hit in 2020. Farmers market goes indoors – photo essay, Making food ahead of time for Christmas is a great idea, Mustard focus keeps Alberta farmers hopping, Growing a salad indoors is a feasible option this winter, Magazine launched to give young writers a voice, Organic farming’s environmental friendliness questioned, Organic sector wants certification crackdown, Producers biggest losers of failed agriculture minister talks, North American farmers warned to prepare for long dry spell, Alberta plans to make trucker licences less expensive, Food prices swell, the ‘snackification’ sensation, foreign farmworkers can’t fly home. Nobody could imagine that this could happen,” Rabobank food analyst JP Frossard said. I guess that's kind of the farm and ranch. The focus on french fries with a potato shortage looming may seem odd given all the different iterations the humble spud offers, but there is good reason to focus on the fast-food staple. You don't actually see the potato; you see the byproduct or the end result of that. Aug 20, 2020. Prices … There is little doubt that the 2019 potato crop will be seared in the memories of both potato growers and buyers. News; Consumer; UK set for crisp shortage as extreme weather to blame for dwindling potato supply The UK could be hit with yet another shortage as a “crisp crisis” is set to hit England. Cold weather has led to a potato shortage in North America, threatening the availability of french fries, Bloomberg reported Monday. Please email covidtips@businessinsider.com and tell us your story. An unusually cold and wet potato harvest season may lead to a French fry shortage in the US ... those raw potatoes may have moved in different areas than perhaps they would in areas where there… Potatoes are hitting the market at lower grades following the wettest autumn since 2012. Cold weather has led to a potato shortage in North America, threatening the availability of french fries, Bloomberg reported Monday. Raven autonomous grain cart system ready for market, China responsible for large leap in exports, Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | © 2020, Western Producer Publications Limited Partnership. Narrator: But all of that effort barely made a dent in the number of stranded potatoes. Normally, potato production across the Northwest looks like this. | START CLAIMING YOUR BENEFITS NOW, The Western Producer | Response to COVID-19. Soon in Canada though, you may not be able to do any of those things. Cold weather and the impact of Hurricane Dorian have damaged potato crops in the United States and Canada. Zak: When COVID hit, we had a huge run on retail, which lasted for about a week to two weeks, but then when we shut off all the restaurants, that's when everything came out of kilter. Narrator: Luckily, Zak says all this food waste won't lead to a shortage next year. Bill: We already had the ground prepared, and we raise most of our own seed and buy some, so, I mean, you might as well just carry on. If we'd have anticipated COVID wrong and had a short crop, a very small crop, it would have been devastating to food hunger. The potential acreage cuts are for process potatoes, which are used to make french fries and other frozen potato products. programs intended to benefit small and new farms, The care and feeding of a dragon not for the timid, Soil science can often take back seat to philosophy, Producers urged to embrace performance management, Agriculture transparency requires better education, Strong demand expected to push corn, soybean prices, Canola growers advised to prepare for liftoff, Canola supply-demand situation tightens after report, Dealership plans vote on privatization plan, Faster roading cuts into wasteful transit, Farm sale includes two barn-find ‘new’ tractors, New Alberta feedlot ready to buy cattle next year, COVID-19 cases on the rise at southern Alberta feedlots, Beef called wrong target in health movement. But that point, if everything is OK and the rations, then we'll start feeding the calves with them. Potato production may drop by 25 to 30 percent because of closed restaurants, a sharp decline in french fry consumption and the economic fallout from COVID-19. The National Potato Council said there are $750 million to $1.3 billion in potatoes and potato products clogged in the pipeline. UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 3, 2019. Strong and stable for over 95 years, The Western Producer has earned the trust of farmers and advertisers alike. The combination of pandemic woes, election burnout, stress drinking, and perhaps a few ill-conceived comfort meals have all conspired to give America a giant case of agita. The 2019 crop would normally cover 12 months of that two year period. Since there will be a shortage of these workers, the industry now looks at other industries to possibly attract workers from. Processors facing another shortage of UK potatoes following heavy rain. The situation changes every day, but potato acres in Canada and the United States could take a dramatic hit in 2020. “While food remains an essential item for everyone, we have seen a significant drop in the demand for french fries as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19),” Mary Keith, spokesperson at Cavendish Farms, told the P.E.I. That in a month or so, we might be able to send them somewhere for some kind of processing. More spuds were needed because Cavendish Farms opened a. Russet table potato growers need to recognize that there is a strong possibility that processing potatoes will spill into the table potato market. “This has meant curtailments of production at Cavendish Farms in New Annan.”. However, experts expect shoppers will want smaller turkeys in 2020 due to shrinking attendance numbers, and that may put a push on shoppers to buy the smaller turkeys before they're all snapped up. News > Agriculture Bad weather causes potato shortage everywhere, except in Washington. A possible post-Brexit ban on the importation of potatoes from the UK could affect supplies in Ireland next year, if UK table potatoes and seed potatoes fall foul of EU food safety rules. Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you'd like to share? A shortage of french fries could be coming, Bloomberg reported Monday. Only a month ago, processing plants on the Prairies were planning to contract more acres of potatoes. Normally this time of year, Bill and Peggy would be sending their potatoes to be planted. Peggy and Bill are facing $140,000 in losses. Those negotiations are messy this year because of COVID-19. The cuts to volume come at a time when Manitoba and Alberta’s potato industry was poised for expansion. A shortage of french fries could be coming, Bloomberg reported Monday. Zak: It takes a tremendous amount of capital to grow a crop of potatoes. | GLACIER FARMMEDIA MEMBERSHIP. "There is an aluminum shortage, specifically it’s a shortage of aluminum cans.” The Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry CEO says the cause of the shortage is three-fold. Richardson quickly added that United States does not have a potato shortage. Zak: You can't take some of these facilities that are built directly for food service and then tomorrow flip a switch and make them able to sell into retail. Others grow better. “I would say across North America … the processors are going to ask us to seed between 70 and 75 percent (of normal),” said Terence Hochstein, executive director of Potato Growers of Alberta. I mean, between our time and labor and renting a large excavator to dig the hole and cover them, I mean, it's not free just to throw them away to us. The Bridge: Is there a potato shortage - See 672 traveller reviews, 94 candid photos, and great deals for Plymouth, UK, at Tripadvisor. Account active FREE! Just, some fry better, they have a better color to them. In Peggy's case, her customers in Washington were cut back more than 50%, and she and Bill were stuck with tons of seed they'd normally sell. Farmers are still planting potatoes, just not as much. Idaho leads the nation in potato production producing nearly 1/3 of all U.S. potatoes. Zak: If I was advising a year ago, not knowing what was gonna happen, I wouldn't have told them to do anything differently than they did now. Narrator: So when food-service establishments shut down because of COVID-19, it was a chain effect. UK consumers may face a home-grown potatoes shortage next year as stocks run out due to new storage rules. You can bake it, mash it, roast it, and of course make french fries with it. Potato production may drop by 25 to 30 percent because of closed restaurants, a sharp decline in french fry consumption and the economic fallout from COVID-19. UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 3, 2019. The system isn’t “breaking,” it’s flexing. More than $800 million of those exports came from Manitoba and Alberta. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories, coronavirus business & economic impact analysis, When COVID-19 closed down restaurants and hotels, potatoes headed toward food service had, It had a chain effect down to processors and growers, trapping, While farmers across Idaho and Montana have. Potato Storage Release Dates - 2020-2021 Season Please note that every effort will be made to ensure that the storage data is released at 3:00 PM (15:00) eastern standard time. The economic upheaval from COVID-19 will constrain potato acres in 2020 as french fry processors use up potatoes from the 2019 crop. At this time the PEI Potato Board would estimate that overall production could be … Share. Narrator: That's the bag of potato chips, the french fries at McDonald's, or the precut fries in the frozen section. Verticillium stripe moves west into Sask. The … A significant percentage of french fries produced at Manitoba plants are exported to fast food restaurants in the U.S. Midwest. On its website, the group said foodservice accounts for 85 percent of all frozen potato sales. Updated 4:45 PM ET, Tue December 3, 2019 . The acreage expansion is now on hold as Canadian growers and the potato industry wait for french fry consumption and the world to return to normal. And just to try to get somebody to benefit from them. Sather and Byre are in agreement that the red potato varieties will see the largest shortage of seed in the spring of 2020 and that could have an impact on growers in the Red River Valley. Peggy and Bill have given out roughly 75,000 pounds of potatoes to the surrounding community. We'd have mass shortage of potatoes, and that would have been even worse. Narrator: Peggy and Bill have been forced to bury 1.4 million pounds of potatoes in total. Peggy: We've put them into this pile and mixed straw, then we're gonna put plastic over the top of it and let it get totally broke down by next fall. In … … If you didn't, you'd have quit a long time ago. They also need to understand that it will take time to rebuild demand for potatoes that has been lost due to the shortages that will persist throughout the 2019-20 marketing season. Bill: When you put all your work and effort into growing them and the expense and the pride of what you grow, and then to just completely just throw it away and waste it. Zak: The other side of that is - we call it our process segment. That's money out of our pocket, trying to find another use of the spuds. Narrator: Now farmers across Idaho and Montana are stuck with mountains of potatoes. Subscriber Process potatoes represent the bulk of potato acres in Canada and the United States. Slowdown in processing demand, restaurant closures during pandemic caused a drop in Canadian potato production December 4, 2020; Pandemic measures dry up potato export market in the Kurdistan Region December 4, 2020; Tasmanian Government confirms it will update potato import risk assessment December 4, 2020; Have you seen the headline claiming there is a french fry shortage … We visited Buyan Ranch, where Peggy and Bill have been growing potato seed for 59 years. Tens of thousands of restaurants are now closed in North America because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus. The region is the largest producer of red potatoes in the country and it is sometimes called the “Idaho of Red Potatoes.” We're always looking for next year. Business Insider visited a potato seed farm in Sheridan, Montana, to understand the emotional and financial impact this has had on farmers Peggy and Bill Buyan. Their final destination is this hole. Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries. Save for later. One way to think about it, Hochstein said, is to consider the time period from Aug. 1, 2019 to July 31, 2021. Bill: We had high hopes that maybe something would turn up, you know? In 2018-19, Canada exported $1.42 billion in frozen potato products, based on Statistics Canada data. Zak: Some of these farmers are looking at red all over their balance sheet, and there's no black to be seen. You're asking - a square peg in a round hole, I guess, is the best analogy I can come up with. The short-term impact on Canada’s potato industry is clear, but the mid-term consequence is more complex. It’s difficult to predict how long restaurants will remain closed and when demand for french fries will be restored. It said potato production for the 2019 crop year was forecast at 22.4 million tons, down 6% from the prior year. | File photo. Out of options, the growers cut their orders with seed farmers. Link Copied! Bottom line: Turkey production numbers are down slightly in 2020, but this isn't directly due to COVID-19. Peggy Buyan: When you dump that many potatoes, the financial hit, I mean, that was what's so heart-sickening, is the financial burden. We're in the small town of Sheridan, Montana, on a potato farm. If you're a process grower, you'll grow a different product line. “It’s a huge challenge. “These losses are expected to be severe at least through May and will probably take at least six months before returning to normalcy based on industry projections,” said Potatoes USA, which represents American potato growers. “What’s that doing … is you’re taking the remaining eight or nine months out of that (two year) calendar and that is your 2020 crop. It's an expense just to get rid of them. Just because there might be shortages in specific cuts doesn’t translate to a massive food shortage more generally. By Henry Sandercock 2020-02-13T12:49:00+00 :00. “The processors will do everything in their power to stretch that (2019) crop as long as they can,” he said. Two Iowa meat plants close as COVID-19 outbreak spreads, Margin-based insurance program gains traction, B.C. Bill: I mean, it was just unprecedented. Bill: She's organized two or three giveaway days, and we've had pickups from 100 miles away, people come and got potatoes. Peggy: We thought, you know, let's plant what we do, take the risk. Fall potato crops were hit by what could be viewed as a perfect storm of crop problems, including delayed planting, untimely rains and an early hard freeze. Peggy and Bill have given out roughly 75,000 pounds of potatoes, just not as much frying potatoes cut. Potatoes represent the bulk of potato acres in Canada and the United States consequence. Supermarket that got interrupted not as much: farmers are looking at Red all over their balance sheet and. 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