Nothing happens quickly in the seed-potato business, but persistence has paid off for Agronico owner Julian Shaw. Mr Shaw, who describes himself as a mad scientist, started the business in 1985. Back then Agronico was focused more on production agronomy in crops such as onions but over time his interest in seed-potato production grew. Nowadays Agronico is one of the country’s biggest seed-potato producers – about 10,000 tonnes a year – and the only one using hydroponic mini tuber production. The company has 150 potato varieties in its collection and produces about 28 commercially. All the new varieties are imported as tissue cultures that must be grown out over about four generations before they can be used for commercial production. Hydroponic production allows the company to precisely control crop nutrition, producing evenly sized mini tubers and more of them. Ag Weekly report. Agronico was also in the news recently when they opened a new state of the art coolstore in Spreyton, Tasmania.