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NW potato farmers scrambling; long winter delays planting


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Northwest potato farmers are getting a late start on their crops because of a long winter and record snowfall in eastern Oregon and Washington.

Normally, farmers start planting potatoes at the end of February. But this year the ground was frozen or flooded much later than usual.

Washington State Potato Commission Director Chris Voight tells Oregon Public Broadcasting farmers weren’t able to start planting until April 1.

Farmers are scrambling to cram two-and-a-half months’ worth of planting into one month.

Voight doesn’t think that will lead to a french fry shortage. French fry companies have month-long emergency supplies in freezers the size of two football fields. But Voight says if french fry companies have to dig too deep into those freezers, they were may be some spot shortages around the country.

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