Dr. Erin Hodgson started working in the Department of Entomology at Iowa State University in 2009. She is an associate professor with extension and research responsibilities in corn and soybeans. She has a general background in integrated pest management (IPM) for field crops. Dr. Hodgson's current extension and research programs are focused on improving corn and soybean production by using IPM tactics to protect yield and increase overall farmer profits. Among other projects, she oversees insecticide efficacy evaluations for soybean aphids, Japanese beetles, and aphids in corn. Erin also helps manage emerging field crop pests and invasive species. 

Profile picture of Erin Hodgson

Dr. Daren Mueller is an assistant professor and extension plant pathologist at Iowa State University. He is also the coordinator of the Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Dr. Mueller eraned his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996, and his master's degree and doctorate in Plant Pathology from the University of Illinois-Urbana in 1999 and 2001. His main research interests involve understanding the biology and management of soybean diseases. The Iowa State IPM program, among other things, develops several publications about field crops pests, leads the ISU Field Extension Farm, and is involved in several STEM education projects. 

Daren Mueller

Dr. Alison Robertson is an associate professor of plant pathology and microbiology. She provides extension education on the diagnosis and management of corn and soybean diseases. Her research interests include Pythium seedling disease of corn and soybean and Goss's wilt. Dr. Robertson received her bachelor's degree in plant pathology in 1991 from the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, and came to the United States in 1999 to pursue a doctoral degree in plant pathology at Clemson University. She started working at Iowa State University in May 2004.

Alison Robertson photo

Adam Sisson is an extension specialist with the Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Sisson focuses on the development of publications and other educational resources for farmers, agribusiness, and students. He received his bachelor's degree in agronomy and environmental studies in 2006 and a master's degree in sustainable agriculture in 2009; both from Iowa State University. 

Adam Sisson

Dr. Mark Licht is an assistant professor and extension cropping systems specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. His extension, research and teaching program is focused on how to holistically manage Iowa cropping systems to achieve productivity, profitability and environmental goals. Research is centered around varied aspects of soybean, corn and cover crop management as well as agronomic implications of precision technologies.

Mark Licht
August 16, 2017 7:47 AM

The following article originally appeared on the ISU Weed Science Online website.  Current research is showing that the new formulations of dicamba (Xtendimax with Vapor Grip Technology and Engenia) have not solved the volatility problem associated with dicamba.  Since the fundamentals of...

August 15, 2017 2:20 PM

 #Drought17, late season hail damage, weed escapes, and soybean aphids seem to be the big issues ISU Extension field agronomists are seeing in fields across the state this past week. Read on for more information about your region's crop progress and field conditions.


Crop Production
August 15, 2017 12:49 PM

For the first time in recent history, a contestant successfully defended their title in the Professional Division at the State Fair Weed ID Contest.  Cindy Recker of Peosta repeated as champion of the Professional Division, Karen Stiles of Des Moines won the General Division, and Henric Krause...

August 14, 2017 12:07 PM

Six teams of Iowa youth from across the state participated in the seventh annual Iowa Crop Scouting Competition on July 31 at the ISU Extension and Outreach...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases, Weeds
August 10, 2017 8:34 AM

Seeding Cover Crops in Dry Conditions

We are quickly approaching the time of year when we aerially seed cover crops into standing corn and soybeans.  Earlier seeding allows for more growth and consequently more biomass to protect soils from erosion. It also allows the opportunity to...

Crop Production
August 9, 2017 7:01 PM

The dry and droughty conditions, spider mites, soybean aphids, and dicamba drift are common issues ISU Extension field agronomists are seeing across the state. Read on for more information about your region's crop progress and field conditions.

Northwest Iowa

Crop Production
August 3, 2017 2:05 PM

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, most of Iowa is still considered abnormally dry. Twospotted spider mites are erratic pests in some corn and soybean fields right now, particularly in southern Iowa. I’ve been...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 2, 2017 7:52 AM

Rainfall continues to be scattered across the state. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 64% of the state is abnormally dry, 34.7% is in a moderate drought, and 1.6% is in a severe drought. ISU Extension...

Crop Production
July 28, 2017 4:09 PM

Observations across several counties in southeast and south central Iowa show that, despite some recent rain events and high humidity, twospotted spider mites are persisting in both corn and soybean fields across the area.  These insect-like pests can be very difficult to identify, so we’ve got...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 25, 2017 9:57 PM

We’ve got the terrible too’s in weather extremes across Iowa. Parts of northeast Iowa received too much rain and experienced flash flooding while many other parts of Iowa are in desperate need of rain and have seen too little rain. Iowa University Extension and Outreach...

Crop Production
July 24, 2017 12:11 PM

As of February 2017, Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) had been found in 49 of Iowa’s 99 counties.  A native of the American southwest, Palmer amaranth is more competitive than common waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus), a pigweed native to Iowa.  These two species are two...

July 20, 2017 2:13 PM

Water and temperature affect many crop processes simultaneously ranging from crop growth, development, photosynthesis, respiration, water transpiration, grain fill, and nutrient cycling. The magnitude of high temperature or drought stress depends also on the stage of the crop. Another factor...

Crop Production
July 19, 2017 8:22 AM

The spotty rain and dry weather saga continues in many parts of the state. The U.S. Drought Monitor has just over 47% of the state as abnormally dry and 16% of the state in a moderate drought.


Crop Production
July 19, 2017 8:13 AM

The 2017 State Fair Weed Identification Contest will be held on Friday, August 11, from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM.  Contestants can show up anytime during this period and complete the task at their own pace.  

The contest is held outside of the John Deere Agriculture Building, but moves indoors...

July 17, 2017 12:14 PM

1) Develops in hot, dry weather conditions. Charcoal rot is a fungal disease that is most severe in years and areas experiencing hot, dry weather. However, this disease can also cause losses when ample moisture is present, making it a hidden threat to yield.


Plant Diseases
July 14, 2017 4:13 PM

The Twitter accounts @corndisease and @soydisease are a place for farmers agronomists, crop consultants, and specialists to collectively document and track...

Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases, Weeds
July 13, 2017 8:38 AM

While off-target movement of pesticides is not a new problem, the growth regulator herbicides create a unique situation due to their ability to induce easily observed symptoms at very low doses. Large scale drift problems were experienced when the phenoxy herbicides were introduced in the 1950s...

July 10, 2017 11:57 PM

Parts of the state are still quite dry and could use some much needed rain. Some of these areas did receive some much needed rain Monday night (July 10)/early Tuesday morning (July 11). Well some areas of the state are very dry other areas have been hit hard with storms, with the most recent...

Crop Production
July 10, 2017 1:45 PM

Bacterial leaf streak is a new disease of corn that was confirmed in the U.S. last year - as if we don't have enough spots to diagnose on corn!  And, as you might expect, a lot of spots and streaks on corn can be misdiagnosed for bacterial leaf streak.

Over the winter, corn pathologists...

Plant Diseases
July 7, 2017 12:05 PM

While scouting corn and soybean fields this summer, farmers and agribusiness professionals are encouraged to tweet a photo with the name of the crop disease, county, and state to either @corndisease or...

Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases, Weeds
July 6, 2017 7:48 AM

A few of you with eagle eyes have been asking about this unique-looking caterpillar feeding in soybean. The green body and dark head capsule definitely make it stand out compared to other green caterpillars. It’s the obliquebanded leafroller (Choristoneura rosaceana), a tortricid moth....

Insects and Mites
June 28, 2017 9:12 PM

Farmers, ag retailers, and certified crop advisers gathered at the Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm on June 22 for the research farm association’s annual spring field day.  Myron Rees, farm superintendent, kicked off the field day by sharing a farm and crop update with everyone. Some...

Crop Production
June 27, 2017 4:34 PM

Despite June typically being one of the wettest months of the year, it is ending to be much drier than normal across much of the state. Besides drier conditions, other common issues showing up in Iowa crop fields include weed management concerns, herbicide drift, nutrient deficiencies, and...

Crop Production
June 26, 2017 12:57 PM

We are now past the Summer Solstice, which means daylight hours will be getting shorter and we will starting seeing more flowers on soybean plants in fields, which has triggered questions about when we have to stop using dicamba on Xtend beans.

There isn’t really a true “cutoff date” for...

Crop Production
June 22, 2017 11:04 AM

The introduction and spread of Palmer amaranth in Iowa undoubtedly will have a significant impact on crop production and weed management in the future.  However, since the first infestations were identified I've been intrigued by what seemed odd behavior for a plant with Palmer amaranth's...