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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
November 29, 2017 1:43 PM

The number of acres planted to cover crops annually has been steadily increasing in recent years throughout the United States. Meanwhile, the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) continues to sit atop of the U.S. list of yield-suppressing pathogens. It’s no coincidence, then, that there is an increasing...

Plant Diseases
November 6, 2017 9:03 AM

There have been many reports of corn along the edge of the fields yielding drastically less than the remainder of the field. In many cases, the yield loss is most obvious on the southern edge of the field, but it has been observed along the west, east, and north sides of fields this year. This...

Crop Production
October 26, 2017 3:40 PM

Up to this point in the harvest season we have been short on grain dry down and cooling weather. Corn moisture percentages have been hanging in the 20’s, sometimes in the upper 20’s. This past week eliminated much of the moisture, but favorable field dry down weather rarely continues into...

Grain Handling and Storage
October 23, 2017 4:07 PM

I’ve received lots of inquiries in the past few weeks about sampling fields for nematodes that feed on corn. Most every Iowa field has one or more different nematode species present at low numbers. But it’s only when numbers are at damaging levels that yield loss will occur.

Unfortunately...

Plant Diseases
October 20, 2017 10:07 AM

I grew up watching the television show Quincy, M.E.  Jack Klugman starred as a Los Angeles County medical examiner in the mystery-thriller, one-hour show as Quincy who had to solve mysterious deaths.  I would argue this show set the tone for future shows such as CSI: Crime Scene...

Crop Production
October 16, 2017 3:59 PM

Fall is usually not a time I expect to get questions about armyworms, but last week I received several questions about fall armyworms in cover crops, particularly in cereal rye, triticale, or wheat cover crops. In Iowa, fall armyworms can be pests in corn, hayfields and pastures, but this is the...

Insects and Mites
October 13, 2017 9:53 AM

Cover of newly revised Soybean Diseases from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

A new version of the Iowa State University...

Plant Diseases
October 6, 2017 8:44 AM

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been doing stalk rot assessments at several of the ISU Research Farms including the Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm, the McNay Research Farm, and the Ames Farm. While the plants seemed to be standing well, minus where the raccoons had fun in one of...

Plant Diseases
October 4, 2017 11:48 AM

If you would like to learn more about current soil fertility issues and research being conducted at universities across the North Central region, then consider attending the 47th Annual North Central Extension-Industry Soil Fertility Conference to be held November 15-16, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to...

Soil Fertility
September 29, 2017 9:49 AM

This week, my technician Greg VanNostrand found a black widow in our storage Quonset at the ISU Johnson Research Farm. The farm is just south of Ames in Story County. She is an adult female and had a pile of dead body fragments below her web. Needless to say, she was healthy and happy in the...

Insects and Mites
September 25, 2017 7:58 AM

Often people have fond memories of monarch butterflies and look forward to their arrival each summer. But there is some confusion about their migration pattern and population decline. “How can such a tiny butterfly travel such a great distance?” and “What do you mean the population is declining...

Insects and Mites
September 18, 2017 2:30 PM

To help farmers and agronomists identify, scout, and manage corn diseases a new Corn Diseases booklet, published by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, is now available to crop producers and industry professionals. The up-...

Plant Diseases
September 18, 2017 11:59 AM

My colleagues at Purdue recently compiled weather data to determine how many hours would be available to apply the new dicamba products (e.g. Xtendimax with VaporGrip Technology, FeXapan with VaporGrip Technology, and Engenia...

Weeds
September 14, 2017 12:31 PM

It’s always difficult to forecast weather, but if dry field conditions persist, potential for combine and field fires this fall could be a problem. All it takes is a single high-temperature source in the engine area, or an overheated bearing to ignite dry plant material.

During harvest...

Crop Production
September 13, 2017 9:19 PM

As the 2017 growing season winds down, ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists share how the crops are progressing and finishing out the season in their repressive regions across the state.   

Northwest Iowa

...
Crop Production
September 12, 2017 10:28 AM

In mid-August of this summer, I wasn’t hearing anything about aphids feeding on corn and I thought we weren’t going to see it this year. These aphids are highly erratic and so where and when they land are not well understood. But the last week of August, I started to hear from folks in northern...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
September 5, 2017 10:56 AM

For the past four years (maybe five) I’ve visited the first three known infestations of Palmer amaranth in western Iowa to track the status of the populations in these fields.  Following is a brief summary of  my visits to Harrison, Fremont and Page Counties on September 3.

Weeds
August 28, 2017 11:50 AM

I’m getting a lot of questions regarding treatment timing for soybean aphid. Mainly, when is it too late to treat? In the last week of August 2017, most fields are reaching R5/R6 and so the question is an important one. In my soybean aphid efficacy evaluation, I have sprayed at different plant...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 28, 2017 11:47 AM

The economic threshold of 250 soybean aphids per plant, with more than 80% of plants infested and aphid populations increasing was published in 2007 to prevent populations from reaching the EIL. These values were determined by closely monitoring aphid populations in research...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 23, 2017 5:05 PM

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agronomists report crop conditions in NW, NE, and SE Iowa. 

Northwest Iowa

Crop Production
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...

Weeds
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.

Northwest...

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...

Weeds
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

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