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Risk of chips shortage as farmers warn it is too hot to grow potatoes

French fries have fallen for potato lovers, with farmers warning that Britain is getting too hot and dry to grow potatoes.

The news puts even more pressure on fish and chip shops, already hit by skyrocketing costs.


Farmers warn hot weather is too hot to grow potatoesCredit: AFP-Getty

As many as 40 of the UK’s 10,500 chips are closing every week in the wake of Russia’s seafood tariffs and the rising cost of cooking oil since its invasion of Ukraine.

Farmers say potatoes are particularly vulnerable to heat waves because they are 80 percent water and now is a key harvest time.

They added that onions, carrots and lettuce are also under attack.

Some parts of the UK have not had substantial rain since the Jubilee weekend in June.

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Tom Bradshaw of the NFU union told The Grocer trade magazine that water shortages were now “critical”.

He said: “I can’t see how potato yields are going to be much below average; onion yields are the same.

“The warm weather has also had a really severe impact on carrots and lettuce.”

The situation could get even worse as farmers are planting less due to rising energy and fertilizer costs.

Jack Ward of the British Producers Association said some farmers were cutting production in half.

Problems are being faced around the world, with McDonald’s already removing large portions of fries from the menu in countries like Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia due to limited availability.

A shortage of cultivated potatoes would be a further blow to beleaguered fish and chip shops


A shortage of cultivated potatoes would be a further blow to beleaguered fish and chip shopsCredit: Alamy

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