Ag News: French Fry Shortage and U.S. Eating More Protein
**Potato processors are rushing to buy supplies in order to keep French fries on the menu after cold, wet weather damaged crops for many producers in the U.S. and Canada.
According to agweb.com, an increase in fry-processing capacity in Canada has boosted demand and could lead to tighter supplies, and force potato prices to climb this year.
With exports down, international costs may also rise.
**After several years of steady declines, U.S. consumers are adding more protein to their plates.
Porkbusiness.com reports, in 2018, U.S. red meat and poultry consumption reached a record high and that trend is expected to continue.
According to USDA, U.S. exports of meat and poultry have grown at an average of 4% per year during the past decade.
Through 2024, they expect annual global consumption to grow by 2% for poultry, and 1% each for pork and beef.
**President Trump announced new tariffs on Brazil and Argentina, citing harm to U.S. farmers.
Trump says the tariffs on steel from the two nations are in response to the "devaluation of their currencies" which he says is "very unfair."
Agrimarketing.com reports, Brazil and Argentina are serving as alternative markets of soybeans for China, allowing China to avoid tariffs on U.S. ag products.
The U.S. is the top soybean-producing country in the world, followed by Brazil, Argentina and China.