Investments the seed of boost to productivity
each year, but this is the best result so far.”
Agronico is the country’s largest seed potato producer and grows about 10,000 tonnes annually.
The business was started in 1985 and has pioneered the use of hydroponic growing systems for mini tuber production.
The new coolstore facility has the capacity to store about 8000 tonnes of potatoes.
Computer-operated venting and humidity control means the potatoes can be kept in optimum conditions and carbon-dioxide levels can be carefully monitored.
The company has about 150 potato varieties in its collection and commercially produces about 28.
Mr Graham said the investment in a four-row planter had also provided other benefits.
“At each stage of the process our efficiency is improving; harvest is quicker because of a combination of factors,” he said.
“The four-row planter was used to plant 80 per cent of the seed potatoes. We have more consistent planting with less soil compaction, leading to increased yields and tuber uniformity, as well as faster harvesting.”
Mr Graham said the new covered hoppers acted as a buffer so the seeds were protected.
He said this allowed harvesting in all weather and they could get the potatoes from harvest to grading and storage with less downtime.
Agronico sells seed potatoes to growers and companies across the country.
“Increasing the production of potatoes creates a flow-on effect for farmers and contractors around the state and on the mainland,” he said.