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Dr. Erin Hodgson started working in the Department of Entomology at Iowa State University in 2009. She is a 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. 

Photo of Erin Hodgson

Dr. Daren Mueller is an associate 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 earned 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 a 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 and a Certified Crop Adviser. 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. 

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.

Meaghan Anderson is a field agronomist in central Iowa and an extension field specialist at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Educational programming is available for farmers, agribusinesses, pesticide applicators, certified crop advisors, and other individuals interested in crop production.

Areas of expertise include weed management, weed biology, cover crops, corn and soybean management, and integrated pest management.

Subscribe to the Central Iowa Crop Update for current topics and agriculture events in the area.

Meaghan Anderson

Dr Laura Jesse Iles co-directs the North Central IPM Center and Directs Iowa State Universities Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic (PIDC).   Dr. Iles has earned B.S. (Animal Ecology), M.S. (Entomology), and Ph.D. (Co-major in Entomology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) degrees, all from Iowa State University.  In addition to directing the PIDC, Dr Iles serves as the entomology diagnostician. As part of the ISU Integrated Pest Management Program Dr. Iles provides educational training and diagnostic services in the broad areas of consumer horticulture, biological control, and invasive insect management.

Laura Jesse Iles
May 12, 2022 10:54 AM

The planting is slow in 2022 – according to last Monday’s USDA Crop Progress Report corn planting was at 14% and soybean planting was at 7% comlete. This is nearly two weeks behind normal. This week’s warm temperatures have driven up soil termperatures but wet soil conditions are still the...

Crop Production
May 11, 2022 10:26 AM

Moth flights into Iowa continued to increase last week. In total, our cooperators captured 118 true armyworm (TAW) moths and 183 black cutworm (BCW) moths during Week 6 (May 1 to May 7).

Week 6 report:

Moths of each species were captured almost every day last...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 10, 2022 2:22 PM

While not much planting progress was made last week (again), the warmer and drier weather this week should provide more favorable conditions for fieldwork and planting. Some of the hot topics over the last week across the state included concerns about cover crop termination, seeding forages yet...

Crop Production
May 6, 2022 2:18 PM

This spring's weather has resulted in an unusually slow start to the growing season, especially when compared with the past two years. In springs like these, field operations are condensed and there may be temptation to skip some of the field preparation to get acres planted in a timely manner....

Weeds, Herbicide Resistance
May 6, 2022 10:34 AM

Corn and soybean planting is progressing very slowly across the state. The starting soil conditions (temperature, water, nitrogen) however are very different from last year. In this blog we’ll benchmark soil conditions using simulated data from...

Crop Production
May 4, 2022 3:41 PM

When selecting a pesticide, make sure you read the label to ensure that you have the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed...

Pesticide Education
May 4, 2022 10:59 AM

Last week, we saw an increase in the number of moths caught around the state. This is not surprising considering a few storm systems moved through the Midwest, and strong southerly winds prevailed on April 23 and during the late part of last week. In total, our cooperators captured 105 true...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 3, 2022 9:42 PM

It has been a slow start to the 2022 growing season with minimal fieldwork and planting done across the state. According to the USDA-NASS May 2 Crop Progress...

Crop Production
May 3, 2022 9:48 AM

Brrrrrrrrr.  Is summer ever going to come?  It’s cold.  It’s wet.  Planting progress is behind and everyone is starting to get antsy. When we finally get our seed in the ground, as Emily Unglesbee so eloquently wrote, “...

Plant Diseases
May 3, 2022 8:30 AM

Over the last couple of weeks there have been numerous reports of both corn and soybean fields being planted. At present soil temperatures are hovering just below 50oF for most of the state, with the...

Crop Production
May 2, 2022 1:07 PM

For many years, we have provided scouting alerts for key insect pests on ICM News and ICM Blog, including...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 2, 2022 11:46 AM

Today during our Crops Team meeting, many field agronomists shared that cool soil temperatures and rain have delayed planting in Iowa, but there are some very determined farmers getting acres planted around the state. These cool and wet conditions during spring are favorable for a few seed and...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 28, 2022 12:56 PM

Black cutworm (BCW) and true armyworm (TAW) moths continued to migrate into Iowa during Week 4 (April 17 to April 23). Last week, our cooperators reported a total of 60 BCW and 13 TAW moths throughout the state.

Week 4 report:

All of the moths were captured in...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 21, 2022 8:42 AM

The cooler temperatures this spring have slowed down alfalfa growth, but alfalfa weevil could already be active based on growing degree day (GDD) accumulation since January 1. We recommend beginning...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 20, 2022 4:44 PM

Windy conditions last week brought our first large flights of black cutworm (BCW) and true armyworm (TAW) moths to Iowa. During Week 3 (April 10 to April 16), our cooperators reported a total of 49 BCW and 20 TAW moths throughout the state.

Week 3 report:

More...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 19, 2022 8:00 AM

Yesterday’s crop progress and condition report indicated little to no planting progress for corn or soybean. This is not a bad thing, considering the temperatures the five days. All hope is not lost! Iowa farmers are able to plant an incredible number of acres really fast. Larger planters,...

Crop Production
April 14, 2022 8:16 AM

Cold weather has kept migratory moths out of Iowa through Week 2 of the trapping network. However, our cooperators have seen some native moths show up in their true armyworm traps. During week 2 of the Iowa Moth...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 13, 2022 9:08 AM

It is the time of year when forecasts become a bigger concern for Iowa crop producers. Nearly everyone has their favorite choice for getting their weather information. In this article we will be sharing weather sites we use when discussing weather issues with our crop production clients.

Crop Production
April 11, 2022 4:22 PM

Although it has been uncharacteristically cold recently, it is officially springtime in Iowa and many insects are coming to life. One of the first things the field crop entomologists do each year is coordinate the Iowa Moth Trapping Network. Usually, these traps catch the specific species we are...

Insects and Mites
April 11, 2022 12:30 PM

Soil temperature is one of the most important factors to guide planting decisions. The rule of thumb is to wait until the upper 4 inches reach at least 50 degrees, with a warming temperature trend in the forecast. One way to track soil temperatures across Iowa is by using the...

Crop Production
April 8, 2022 10:35 PM

With a warm-up in the forecast, spring fieldwork like cover crop termination will begin when fields are fit. While some farmers may opt to use mechanical methods of cover crop termination like tillage or roller-crimping, chemical termination is the most common and often most effective way to...

Crop Production, Weeds
April 7, 2022 3:08 PM

The 2022 moth trapping season is underway, and most of our volunteers placed traps the week of March 27. Black cutworm (BCW) monitoring is a long-standing project in Iowa, and true armyworm (TAW) was added in 2017 (Photo 1). Both of these pests are migratory, making it difficult to predict where...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 5, 2022 2:17 PM

This is the final article in a 3-part series for private pesticide applicators.  Part 1 focused on remaining continuing instruction courses to maintain...

Pesticide Education
April 4, 2022 2:27 PM

Determining the appropriate glyphosate rate is probably more important this spring than in previous years. Between high herbicide prices, reduced supply, and possibly using a different glyphosate product, it is worth checking to make sure you’re applying the optimum rate for efficient control....

Pesticide Education, Weeds
March 31, 2022 2:11 PM

2022 offerings of Agronomy in the Field

Agronomy in the Field is a workshop series for women that provides learning opportunities over forage and crop production. Focus is placed on developing agronomic and decision-making skills that can be utilized on one’s own personal or family...

Crop Production

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