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.

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

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
August 20, 2021 8:10 AM

Historically, corn silage harvest starts within the next two weeks. However, harvest has started early in some droughty areas with light soils. Corn is a high yielding, high energy, low protein forage that is commonly used for growing and finishing beef cattle, in cow-calf production systems,...

Crop Production
August 19, 2021 7:56 AM

My lab has been driving all over western Iowa looking for soybean gall midge. They stop by 3-6 fields in each county and scout for larvae along field edges. This is part of a larger effort funded by the North Central Soybean Research Program to better understand the current distribution of this...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 17, 2021 12:40 PM

I have seen yellow patches in Iowa soybean fields this past week. Plants within these patches have foliar symptoms that appear to be caused by sudden death syndrome (Figure 1; SDS). When...

Plant Diseases
August 10, 2021 12:25 PM

With parts of northern Iowa now being in a D3 or extreme drought and other areas on the drought monitor expanding, the drier conditions are a concern with what impact they are having on the crops as well as forage...

Crop Production
August 9, 2021 8:25 AM

A new Aerial Application Manual (CS 26) is now available for individuals planning to take the aerial applicator exam to become certified or renew their certification. This manual will assist aerial applicators and aerial applicator consultants in preparing to take the commercial pesticide...

Pesticide Education
August 4, 2021 4:44 PM

The “I See Dead Plants” podcast, a new offering from the Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, is now open to listeners interested in learning how plant science research impacts everyday life.

Crop management experts are interviewed to share findings about plant...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites, Pesticide Education, Plant Diseases, Weeds
August 4, 2021 10:05 AM

Corn rootworms, spider mites, soybean gall midge, and the hot and dry conditions were common questions or issues received or observed by ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists this past week. Read on for more specifics about what’s happening around the state.

Northwest Iowa...

Crop Production
July 28, 2021 11:05 AM

The hot and dry conditions this past week resulted in crops showing more signs of stress, especially in the drier parts of the state. Drought stress, spider mites, corn rootworms, and questions regarding fungicide applications were the big questions or issues observed by ISU Extension field...

Crop Production
July 22, 2021 12:40 PM

In October 2020, EPA approved five-year registrations (until 2025) for dicamba products including XtendiMax (Bayer), Engenia (BASF) and Tavium (Syngenta) for over-the-top use in Xtend and XtendFlex soybeans. These new dicamba product registrations included national cutoff dates (June 30 in most...

Crop Production, Weeds
July 21, 2021 4:37 PM

If you listen carefully, you can hear corn tassels rattling in the breeze, and occasionally the hum of a crop sprayer. 

This growing season started off exceptionally dry, apart from southeast Iowa. The moisture that arrived in July and hung around for a couple of weeks was welcomed by...

Plant Diseases
July 21, 2021 7:09 AM

Last week, a team of us met up at the Iowa State University Southeast Research Farm (SERF) to evaluate root injury in a small trial for corn rootworm management. The trial had four treatments replicated eight times. The treatments included no management (glyphosate-tolerant only; no Bt traits or...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 20, 2021 9:52 PM

Corn started pollinating within the last week, and soybeans range from full flowering (R2) to beginning pod (R2). The hot topics this past week across the state included foliar fungicide decisions, corn rootworms, and herbicide injury in soybeans. Read on for more specifics on what ISU Extension...

Crop Production
July 19, 2021 4:20 PM

Corn pollination is well underway and is one of the most critical times in corn development. Pollination is the biggest factor on the size of yield.

Corn plants have both male and female flowers. The tassel represents the male flower. When tassels emerge, they produce a spikelet, which...

Crop Production
July 16, 2021 10:53 AM

Now is the time to make plans for cover crop planting if you have not already done so. There are several cover crop species that are often talked about, however, cereal rye,...

Crop Production
July 16, 2021 10:17 AM

If you have experienced a suspected dicamba incident contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) at 515-281-8591 to file a report. You may file an “Incident Report” or a “Documentary Report” with the IDALS Pesticide Bureau. 

Reporting dicamba incidents helps...

Pesticide Education
July 14, 2021 2:49 PM

Soybean gall midge detections continue in western Iowa. As of this week, there are ten counties with infested soybean fields. These counties were previously infested with larvae. In some fields where we monitor activity a bit closer, we noticed first-generation adults were produced. These adults...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 14, 2021 2:40 PM

We’ve had two new members join the ISU Crops Team as field agronomists!

Clarabell Knapp, field agronomist for region 11 in south central and south eastern Iowa, began June 7; and Gentry Sorenson, field agronomist for region two in northwest Iowa, began July 6.


Crop Production
July 14, 2021 10:48 AM

The drier parts of the state finally received some much-needed rainfall, and unfortunately parts of southern Iowa that are pretty well saturated also received some more rain this past week. Herbicide injury in soybeans,...

Crop Production
July 11, 2021 10:33 AM

A common sight across the state this summer has been yellow or white patches of soybean in otherwise green fields. This ICM Blog will review several possible causes of yellow soybean and provide resources regarding each phenomenon.


Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC)...

Crop Production, Soils, Soil Fertility
July 7, 2021 1:20 PM

Herbicide drift, fungicide decisions, and iron deficiency chlorosis were common questions or issues received and/or observed by ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists this past week. Read on to see what's happening in different regions across the state.

North Central Iowa...

Crop Production
July 7, 2021 9:50 AM

Soybean research and Extension specialists from land-grant universities across the country welcome you to join the next monthly informal discussion on crop production topics that are timely and relevant. When you join the Notes from the Field webinar series, you will get highlights and current...

Crop Production
June 29, 2021 10:35 PM

While some much-needed rain did come this past week it seems that the drier areas continue to miss out or get minimal rainfall and the wetter parts of the state keep getting wetter. The rain also brought some hail, which caused some pretty significant damage not just to crops but property as...

Crop Production
June 29, 2021 2:12 PM

Despite the cooler conditions and precipitation (in some parts of Iowa) last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor categorizes most of Iowa in moderate to severe drought. As we approach tasseling, more and more questions around fungicides are being asked. 


All diseases managed by...

Plant Diseases
June 29, 2021 7:25 AM

I’ve had a lot of questions about soybean gall midge over the winter and in the last few weeks. Most fields have plants with 4-7 trifoliates and I’ve even seen some flowers! If you are connected with the Soybean Gall Midge Alert Network, you know...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 28, 2021 10:04 AM

The mass of water in corn follows a seasonal cycle. During the vegetative stages, corn is around 80% water. Corn water mass quickly accumulates during the vegetative stages. Maximum water mass occurs around 1830 Fahrenheit GDD after planting for many Iowa corn cultivars, aligning with the end of...

Crop Production