Potato growers in Alberta province in Canada have a boatload of potatoes in storage. As of June 1, stocks of processing potatoes in Alberta were 5.37 million hundredweight, which is 37.2 percent higher than the three year average for stockpiles in early June, reports Robert Arnason for The Western Producer.
Arnason writes that spuds have piled up in Alberta because french fry consumption has collapsed over the last two and a half months, thanks to COVID-19 forcing restaurants to close across North America or only offer drive-through service.
The companies that turn potatoes into french fries, such as Cavendish Foods and McCain Foods, had to cut or stop production because their freezers were full of frozen potato products.
Processing potato stocks in Canada were at 17.9 million cwt. June 1, based on data from United Potato Growers of Canada. That’s 14.4 percent higher than the three-year average.
Data released in late May suggests planted acreage will still drop, but in certain provinces the decline will be less than expected. In Manitoba, acreage may only decline by 2,000, United Potato Growers said in a planting report. In Alberta, the acreage cut could be more dramatic because processors need to work through the stockpile of 2019 potatoes. Processing acres in the province could be 10,000 fewer.
Read Robert Arnason’s full report in The Western Producer here
Photo: Potato harvesting at Boston Farms, Coaldale, AB. The Grower