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. 

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 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 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. 

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

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
May 28, 2020 2:58 PM

Iowa State’s Dr. Charles Hurburgh will be presenting on the topic “Ongoing Impacts from the 2019 Harvest and Early 2020 Crop Forecast” as an installment in the Grain Elevator and Processing Society’s...

Grain Handling and Storage
May 27, 2020 5:17 PM

More large flights of moths were reported across Iowa last week. In fact, the statewide weekly totals for both true armyworm (TAW) and black cutworm (BCW) far exceeded those of previous weeks. Across the state, our cooperators reported a total of 243 TAW moths and 188 BCW moths between May 17...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 27, 2020 3:33 PM

Last week brought little sunshine, cooler temperatures, and soggy conditions across much of the state. Yellow-looking corn, slow growing crops and forages, and uneven or poor stand establishment were some of the common concerns ISU Extension field agronomists have been hearing and seeing. Read...

Crop Production
May 26, 2020 11:03 AM

While all applicators should carefully read their pesticide labels, newer products like the dicamba products labeled for use over-the-top use in soybean have many more application restrictions and recordkeeping requirements than others. This blog will describe the new language in the ‘...

Pesticide Education, Weeds
May 22, 2020 11:59 AM

Thanks to ISUEO Field Agronomist Meaghan Anderson and Extension Entomologist Ashley Dean, I had a great field scouting adventure in central Iowa. First visiting the field for poor germination and other issues, Meaghan was digging in the soil in search of more information and found grubs! So of...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 22, 2020 10:17 AM

Last week, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Crops Team held its Field Scouting Basics Workshop for those who will be scouting fields this growing season. For those that might have missed this day-long virtual seminar, we've uploaded the entire virtual workshop to the Iowa...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases, Soils, Weeds
May 22, 2020 10:04 AM

I try to stay focused on important weed management issues, but people1 send me ads they feel need to be called out for breaking the principles of integrated weed management. Today's entry into the Herbicide Ad Hall of Shame is a promotion for Tough herbicide.  I don't...

Herbicide Resistance
May 20, 2020 5:00 PM

By this time in the spring, moth activity typically quiets down a bit. Not this year – we were still seeing large flights of moths last week! True armyworm (TAW) activity picked up again with a total of 84 TAW moths reported across the state. Black cutworm (BCW) captures decreased compared to...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 20, 2020 3:36 PM

Western and northern corn rootworms are serious corn pests in Iowa and the Corn Belt, reportedly responsible for over 1 billion dollars in yield loss and control costs annually in the United States. The larvae tunnel into and consume corn roots, which can reduce nutrient and water uptake (Figure...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 20, 2020 1:54 PM

With the weather Iowa has recently experienced and the time of year it is, we all can expect to see purple and yellow corn and even some tattered leaves: the ugly ducklings of your field. Don’t fret just yet, cooler temperatures and wet conditions are all contributing factors to the mosaic...

Crop Production
May 20, 2020 7:42 AM

Iowa’s most significant soybean insect pest, soybean aphid, has host-alternating biology. This species has multiple, overlapping generations on soybean in the summer. Fall migration to buckthorn is based on senescing soybean, and decreasing temperatures and photoperiod. For the majority of the...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 19, 2020 9:20 PM

Some much-welcomed rain fell across the state this past week. Prior to the rain, farmers continued to make progress on getting the crop in the ground. According to the...

Crop Production
May 19, 2020 8:04 PM

Planting is nearly wrapped up for corn, with soybean soon to follow. What a difference a year makes considering the last two years have seen planting delayed. That means corn and soybean emergence should be good, right? Wrong! The cost of seed makes it essential to get the highest, most uniform...

Crop Production
May 19, 2020 10:57 AM

As crops start to emerge, now is a good time to get out and do early-season scouting to see how things went with planting and to also check for any early season crop disease and insect issues. 

Crop Production, Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases
May 19, 2020 10:54 AM

Check out our most recent Vlog from the Field Extension Education Lab (FEEL), where we discuss soil temperature, hypocotyls, radicles and cotyledons.

Guest starring in this episode is Meaghan Anderson, field agronomist in central Iowa and an extension field specialist at Iowa State....

Crop Production
May 14, 2020 10:27 AM

As we on the Iowa State Extension Crops Team have been adjusting our programming and schedules to ensure we're still able to provide quality resources throughout COVID-19, we'd like to introduce you to one new resource: The Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL) Vlog series.

While we...

Crop Production
May 13, 2020 3:57 PM

Even with some cooler temperatures last week, moths were still being reported around the state. True armyworm (TAW) activity was lower during Week 6 than in previous weeks with a total of 40 TAW moths reported across the state. However, black cutworm (BCW) captures increased dramatically last...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 13, 2020 10:41 AM

Years like this, when corn-planting progress is ahead of normal and we get really optimistic about it, frost raises its ugly head. In the NW corner of Iowa, about a third of the years will include a frost in May. About ten percent of the time it is after May 10. Watching the recovery of emerged...

Crop Production
May 12, 2020 8:53 PM

What a difference the year makes! According to the May 11th USDA Crop Progress Report, 91% of the expected corn crop and 71% of the expected...

Crop Production
May 11, 2020 10:23 AM

Although most crop fields have not reached the stage for regularly planned POST herbicide applications, there likely are situations where people would like to get weeds controlled prior to the rain forecast later this week.  The question is what impact will this weekend’s frost have on herbicide...

May 8, 2020 11:07 AM

The Forecasting and Assessment of Cropping Systems (FACTS) from Iowa State Extension and Outreach results as of May 5 extrapolate that Iowa soils a bit drier than neighboring Illinois or Indiana, but shouldn’t be an issue moving forward:

Crop Production
May 6, 2020 1:53 PM

Moth activity continues in Iowa. During Week 5, April 27 had the most true armyworm (TAW) moths reported across the state. Black cutworm (BCW) flights were a bit spread out throughout the week. In total, 78 BCW moths were reported across the state, which is the highest weekly total of the year...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 6, 2020 1:27 PM

Thin Lizzy predicted it in 1976. Actually, the boys and girls are back in town. Over the weekend, the first painted lady butterflies were spotted in Iowa. Why care about this beautiful butterfly? It seems like a distant memory, but remember the thistle caterpillar bonanza on soybean last summer...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 6, 2020 12:58 PM

Friday and Saturday night will have cold temperatures reach into northern Iowa and maybe even southern Iowa. Below is a National Weather Service low temperature prediction ( for Saturday, May 9. Notice that north of Interstate...

Crop Production
May 5, 2020 1:49 PM

Last week provided another big window for planting and other field activities across the state. According to the May 4th USDA Crop Progress Report...

Crop Production