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tiny fries with a burger? Potato production in Europe is reduced by the hot weather.

With the smallest potato crop in years anticipated as a result of Europe’s scorching summer, consumers could face significant price increases for popular items like fries at a time when inflation is already out of control.

One of the summer crops that has been harmed this year by record temperatures and Europe’s worst drought in 500 years is potatoes, which are a staple for homes whether purchased fresh or as prepared foods like fries or crisps.

According to analysts World Potato Markets, the dry conditions in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium — the northwesterly belt that accounts for the majority of the European Union’s potato output — could drive EU production to its lowest level ever, below that seen in similarly drought-stricken 2018.

Inflation in the euro region has soared to 9%, levels not seen in 50 years, as a result of strong increases in energy and food prices.Before the major harvest begins in September, European farmers warn that crop projections are only guesses, and that recent rain showers and colder temperatures may bring late relief. But there is little hope on some farms.

Grower Erich Gussen in Juelich, West Germany, claims that drought may cause up to half of the crop to be lost and that any rain at this point would be too late. Looking over a dried-out area, he declared, “Nothing will continue growing here.

In a crop assessment on August 26, the German agriculture ministry claimed prospects for the potato crop had “dramatically decreased” but did not predict the harvest.This week, the EU’s agricultural monitoring service reduced its monthly projection for potato output by 2.5%, although the outlook was still in line with the average of the previous five years.

France might sustain significant damage. According to the French producer group UNPT, based on the most recent field surveys, yields there may be at least 20% below the 20-year norm.

On fields with irrigation systems, the effects of dryness have been reduced, but plants have nevertheless withered during recurrent hot spells.Geoffroy d’Evry, a producer in the region north of Paris and the head of UNPT, stated that “whereas water stress we can handle, with heat stress there’s nothing we can do.” “We’ve experienced hot spells previously, but we’ve never seen that in terms of temperature peaks and their longevity.”

Heat is viewed as a risk for yields as well as quality, as high temperatures can change the form and colour of tubers.That could cause problems when processing potatoes because contracts often specify specifications like how long fries should be.