Puntel is new assistant professor in soil fertility

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Fran Benne | Agronomy and Horticulture

Laila Puntel joined the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture July 1 as an assistant professor in soil fertility and a precision ag specialist. She has a research, extension and teaching appointment.

Puntel is currently working on crop modeling and sensor-based corn nitrogen management and collaborating with the Project SENSE team. She will teach Agronomy 431 Site-specific Crop Management this fall and the online Agronomy 831 Spatial Variability in Soils in the spring.

Originally from Buenos Aires province, Argentina, Puntel grew up in a productive corn, soybean, wheat and barley region. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in agriculture engineering from the National University of Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a Master of Science degree and doctoral degree in crop production and physiology from Iowa State University.

Puntel said she’s excited about adopting precision ag technologies and data-driven tools to improve soil fertility and nutrient management for more sustainable agriculture in Nebraska.

“Nebraska is an attractive but challenging region in terms of diversity in soils, weather and cropping systems,” she said. “This allows for great opportunities in digital ag technology.”

Between earning a master’s degree and a doctorate, Puntel farmed and co-founded a precision agriculture company in Argentina, called Clarion, where she worked for six years.

“It was exciting to confirm that long-term adoption of precision ag technology, such as varying fertilizer rate or the type of soybean variety used within a field, is possible in conjunction with the use of science, data, core agronomic knowledge and on-farm research,” Puntel said.

In her spare time, Puntel enjoys sports and outdoor activities. She loves playing soccer and tennis with her new friends and colleagues in Lincoln.

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Laila Puntel
Laila Puntel