Expert Spotlight: Ignacio Colonna

Forward-thinking agriculture experts with deep scientific experience are the core of AgriThority®. As an independent global science consultancy, we focus on exploring potential, expanding market access, and evolving production for greater food security and sustainability. When your Research is ready for Development, turn to AgriThority for scientific product, business and market expertise.

In this series we focus on our AgriThority talent and the work they do. In their own words, you’ll learn about their global travels, and the crops, technologies and innovations they research. 

I have always been fascinated by the complexities within an ag production ecosystem.

After studying plant physiology and ecology during my undergrad years at the University of Buenos Aires and five years managing a 12,000-acre farming operation, I had many questions. This led to grad school followed by 10 years coordinating hybrid advancement and characterization at Pioneer HiBred in Argentina. The plethora of experimental data we would gather at Pioneer made it a paradise for someone interested in data analysis and modeling. This gave me a great chance to exploit quantitative analysis and digital technology tools. After this focus on corn in the Pioneer research team, I was motivated to expand my work to the wider range of topics that seemed to be rapidly emerging in the ag industry.

Over the past five years I am amazed at how much we learn through each project I’ve led for AgriThority® clients in South America.

Our work includes new technologies in biological products, genetics, and digital technologies as well as new approaches to agricultural experimentation. Averaging more than 100 trials across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Mexico each year gives us a wealth of data to apply for benefit of clients.

Many of our clients come to us at a very early stage of their development process. Results from the early stages of our work with a client sometimes help provide information to support the next level of investment into the project, and sometimes help our client understand how a project needs to be re-directed to gain the best value out of their technology.

For example, we ran a total of 114 individual experiments over four years in Argentina for a client dedicated to the development of biological products for plant performance enhancement. Starting just before this product was launched in the U.S., our evaluation in Argentina helped define the strong effects of this product at ameliorating the impact of abiotic stress on crop growth. Intensive measurements on variables such as leaf temperature through infrared sensors helped determine a measurable benefit of this product in lower crop leaf temperature when exposed to water and heat stress. Digital measurements of early plant and root growth helped define the possible mechanisms behind this improvement in stress tolerance.

Our goal at AgriThority is to extract the best possible information out of a field research program, starting with proper design of a project, implementing protocols that are adequately suited for the project goals and analyzing the data with robust quantitative and statistical approaches that ensure an unbiased interpretation of results.

We are an independent resource devoted to applying our experience, analytical skills and never-ending investigative approach to our clients’ needs.