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
August 28, 2020 3:15 PM

Corn fields destroyed by the August 10, 2020 derecho will have different crop residue than normal after grain harvest. Things that will be different include early plant death (at varying reproductive growth stages), ears at various stages of grain fill, and whole plants instead of “loose” stalks...

Soil Fertility
August 27, 2020 8:07 AM

Dear regulators,

I assume you are evaluating data and reviewing information that will guide your decision regarding the re-registration of dicamba for use in dicamba-resistant (DR) crops. As you know, farmers have a critical need for additional tools to help manage herbicide-resistant...

August 26, 2020 3:45 PM

Rainfall still eludes most of the state of Iowa, and drought has continued to envelope the state, with the driest areas expanding from the west central part of the state. Crops continue to go downhill in the...

Crop Production
August 25, 2020 6:09 PM

Chopping silage during rapid drying conditions always bring up the question of “How much water do I add?” The short answer: It is practically impossible to add enough to get to your desired moisture level. 

To add one point of moisture for each ton of silage you would need to add seven...

Crop Production
August 25, 2020 8:23 AM

Fall Management Options for Corn Fields That Are Unharvestable

Millions of corn acres have been damaged by the derecho on August 10. Unfortunately for some of these acres, harvest will not take place. Decisions regarding fall management options will need to be made in the...

Crop Production
August 21, 2020 2:55 PM

The unprecedented August 10 derecho storm event has caused significant damage to Iowa corn fields. If it’s decided to proceed with harvesting the field for grain, several operational changes may increase performance and productivity of the combine.

Equipment and Machinery
August 21, 2020 9:44 AM

The range of soybean gall midge has expanded in 2020. There are three new counties in Iowa (Osceola, Dickinson, and Calhoun) for a total of 29. So far, 108 total counties are confirmed in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Likely more counties have soybean gall midge but...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 20, 2020 10:18 AM

While much of the damage from this month’s derecho is due to strong hurricane-force winds, isolated pockets of hail affected crops also, particularly in parts of Carroll, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Boone, and Story counties.  When addressing any crop damage, contact your crop insurance provider...

Crop Production
August 17, 2020 7:34 AM

Wind and storm damaged soybean have been reported across Iowa, creating yet another stress for farmers this growing season. Certain fungicide products are marketed as being capable of reducing stress in crops, so should they be sprayed on soybean this late in the season?  


Plant Diseases
August 14, 2020 7:07 AM

Caterpillars have been extremely active this year, especially in soybean. We suspect that late-season infestations of caterpillars in corn are no exception. These infestations are serious because these caterpillars feed on the ear and/or tunnel into stalks. Their feeding can also lead to...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 13, 2020 11:02 AM

When steel grain bins sustain wind damage, careful inspection is needed to evaluate repair or replacement options. Inspection assistance and advice from a consulting engineer or bin manufacturer representative is the best option.

When damage is confined to the roof, sidewall sheets, or...

Grain Handling and Storage
August 12, 2020 8:06 PM

Monday’s derecho event took a toll on crops across Iowa. Satellite imagery shows millions of acres of Iowa crops impacted by the high wind events. As growers dig out from the destruction left after the storm, decisions regarding how to manage the impacted crop will be front and center.


Crop Production
August 12, 2020 12:32 AM

While some rainfall has come to the droughty areas of the state, drought intensified to D3 (extreme) drought in parts of central and west central Iowa. Unfortunately, a large swath of the state is now facing...

Crop Production
August 4, 2020 10:58 PM

Drought conditions persist in western Iowa and have expanded further into central and north central Iowa this week. Common issues reported by ISU Extension field agronomists this past week included poor grain fill and fast reproductive development in corn, increasing disease pressure in some...

Crop Production
August 3, 2020 8:08 PM

In the interview, “A Farmer’s Journey with Miscanthus: Part 1,” we learned about Steve Schomberg and his involvement with growing miscanthus for the University of Iowa power plant. Steve has also been working with Koch Angus Farms, a cattle production farm near Letts, Iowa for the last four...

Crop Production
August 3, 2020 8:17 AM

ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists, Meaghan Anderson and Angie Rieck-Hinz, recently partnered with their extension colleagues at the University of Minnesota to organize and deliver the second webinar series, Essential Row Crop...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases
July 29, 2020 9:20 PM

Over the last two weeks I have received a few calls related to identifying a “new form of waterhemp” in Southwest Iowa. In reality, we do not have a new form of waterhemp, but a condition referred to as ‘fasciation’ (Figure 1). While this can occur in many plant species, plants like cacti and...

July 29, 2020 8:20 AM

While the drought concerns and drought impacts on row crops and forage crops seems to be the big issue especially in western Iowa, other common issues or questions reported by ISU Extension field agronomists this past week included corn rootworm activity, earworm feeding, Japanese beetles...

Crop Production
July 27, 2020 6:12 PM

Growing up on his family’s farm, Steve Schomberg learned the importance of environmentalism by his father. Conservation and sustainability remained central to Steve’s life while he worked at the University of Illinois, which is where he first learned about miscanthus and its use as a biomass...

Crop Production
July 27, 2020 11:22 AM

One option to consider in fields with severe storm damage with no or limited yield potential is annual forages. This option may especially be of interest to livestock producers who could utilize the forage or may be short on forage or feed as a result of the storm damage. The following...

Crop Production
July 26, 2020 8:37 AM

 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Pocahontas and Sac county will hold meetings to discuss the effects of the current drought on crops and livestock.


The Sac county meeting will be held on Thursday August 6 at the Sac County Fairgrounds 4-H Building at 416 Park...

Crop Production
July 24, 2020 2:08 PM

Low rainfall and high temperatures recently have caused some drought stress on local crops this summer. This is not wholly unexpected and there are some strategies crop producers can do to minimize the damage.

Higher nighttime temperatures cause plants to have higher nighttime respiration...

Crop Production
July 24, 2020 10:53 AM

Crop scouts and field researchers now have a new tool at their disposal to help correctly estimate disease severity and insect defoliation in field crops. The new online tool has been created by the Crop Protection Network and can be...

Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases
July 21, 2020 9:16 PM

While parts of southern Iowa did receive some much needed rain, the western part of the state continues to be dry with parts considered to be in a D2 or severe drought. Besides the weather concerns, other common...

Crop Production
July 18, 2020 11:30 AM

With several severe weather events in Iowa this month, reports of lodged corn are coming our way. Often times, a small part of the field is flattened and would be difficult to see from the edge. I encourage you to get out into cornfields and see how your stands look this month. In some cases,...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites