(Slay News) – Idaho has been hit with a shortage in potatoes, causing prices to soar in grocery stores across the state.
The news comes as food insecurity continues to bite across the country.
The latest food crisis emerging is a potato shortage that began last year when yields were depressed due to a heatwave, according to Boise State Public Radio.
“I’m not sure if you remember last June, but we had some just unbelievably hot temperatures here in Idaho,” Jamey Higham, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission, told the Idaho-based media outlet.
“It did a number on our potato crop.
“And so, our yields were significantly down last year.”
Boise State Public Radio pointed out that last year’s potato crop cycle should last through August.
However, the lack of potatoes has already presented consumers with higher prices at grocery stores.
“There is not a gap,” said Higham.
“There are just less potatoes being shipped right now than there normally are this time of year because of the shorter supply that we started the season with.”
Higham said Idaho produced the most potatoes in the county last year, and what happens to crop yields in the state will influence prices across the country.
“As the fresh market goes, the grocery stores – your Albertsons, Walmart, WinCo, that stuff – it is not just Idaho that’s having high prices right now,” he added.
“It’s the other states as well.”
Higham expects potato prices to remain high through the rest of the year.
“I don’t anticipate these prices staying high long term,” he noted.
“And once harvest gets underway, it’ll get back down into a better spot.
“But I do expect prices to be strong all year this year.”
The local media outlet noted: “But it is still rather bizarre to be in Idaho of all places, and there’s a shortage of potatoes.”
This latest shortage means more pressure on the pocketbooks of consumers, who’ve already seen grocery inflation hit the highest levels since 1979.
Another shortage that could potentially emerge is beer as northern Mexico runs out of water.
If you didn’t know, Mexico is responsible for 76% of all the beer imported by the US last year, with most of it produced in the northern part of the country.