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Dr. Erin Hodgson started working in the Department of Entomology, now the Department of Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Microbiology, 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

Daren Mueller is an associate professor and extension plant pathologist at Iowa State University. He is also the coordinator of the Iowa State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Daren received 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. Daren’s main research interests involve understanding the biology and management of field crop diseases. Daren is also a co-director of the North Central IPM Center and the Crop Protection Network.

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 associate 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 directs the North Central IPM Center.   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 in the broad areas of consumer horticulture, biological control, and invasive insect management.

Laura Jesse Iles

Dr. Sotirios Archontoulis is an assistant professor of integrated cropping systems at the Department of Agronomy. His main research interests involve understanding complex Genotype by Management by Environment interactions and modeling various components of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Dr. Archontoulis's overall goal is to investigate practices that can increase the efficiency of system by means of increasing crop yields and simultaneously decreasing inputs or losses such as water and nitrogen. His approach combines field experimentation and use of mechanistic simulations models.

April 6, 2021 11:06 AM

As it has started to warm up, folks are ready to implement early-spring weed management programs, especially in fields with infestations of winter annuals like field pennycress and marestail (horseweed). Spring burndown (preplant) herbicide programs should target winter annual plants at the...

Weeds
April 6, 2021 8:30 AM

As more producers integrate cover crops into their operation, there has been increased interest in planting corn into a green or living cover crop, such as cereal rye, and terminating the cover crop after planting.

To help provide some insight into how “planting green” might affect corn...

Plant Diseases
April 6, 2021 6:26 AM

Program Specialist Levi Powell with ISU Digital Ag explains a quick tutorial for checking the closing wheel alignment of your planter in the shop before heading to the field.

Equipment and Machinery
April 5, 2021 6:26 AM

ISU Digital Ag Program Specialist Levi Powell explains a simple process for checking planter depth settings in the shop to increase machine accuracy before you head to the field.

Equipment and Machinery
April 2, 2021 2:02 PM

Occasionally, corn planted after a cereal rye cover crop may have reduced yields. Proposed reasons for this yield decline include allelopathy, seedling disease, nitrogen immobilization and poor planter performance. In our lab, we are interested in understanding how seedling disease and...

Crop Production
April 2, 2021 1:30 PM

The recent dry conditions across the state, carried through from the 2020 growing season, has created an environment in which field fires are of concern this spring if current conditions continue to persist.  Strong winds can increase problems by acting as a catalyst, drying crop residue,...

Crop Production, Equipment and Machinery, Soil Fertility
April 1, 2021 1:17 PM

Spring planting season may come with added challenges as growers continue to deal with the effects of last August’s derecho event. Many fields through central Iowa were riddled with downed corn, and while some fields were able to be partially harvested, others were damaged so severely that...

Crop Production
April 1, 2021 11:35 AM

The nice weather and dry conditions have led some to think about the start of planting. My opinion, it is too early. Remember crop insurance replant dates are not until April 11. Use the extra days to get plans in order and a little rest and relaxation before the pace picks up.

...

Crop Production
March 26, 2021 12:55 PM

Volunteer corn remains high on many minds this spring and one of the biggest questions is how much of those corn seed will germinate this spring. In an effort to learn more about the challenge we’re facing, Bob Hartzler collected soil and corn ears from the same fields he collected from last...

Crop Production, Weeds
March 22, 2021 4:04 PM

In addition to conducting regular spring maintenance on your planter, which we outlined in a recent post, it’s important to adjust the settings and perform...

Equipment and Machinery
March 22, 2021 2:44 PM

Levi Powell with ISU Digital Ag walks through calculating and setting downforce for your planter and how downforce affects your performance in the field.

Equipment and Machinery
March 19, 2021 9:55 AM

Prices for soil fertility inputs have increased greatly in recent months. The bi-weekly “Iowa Production Cost Report” showed a 51% cost increase in anhydrous, a 31% increase for urea, 56% higher...

Soil Fertility
March 19, 2021 9:48 AM

With a long winter coming to an end, our focus now turns to planter setup. While we often focus on new equipment and updates to our planters, knowledge of the basic function of the planter and the role each part of the planter plays in seeding depth and spacing, as well as upkeep of these parts...

Equipment and Machinery
March 18, 2021 9:49 AM

If you grow specialty crops in Iowa or another North Central state, please help us with a study to:

  • assess frequency, severity, and other details of herbicide drift damage.
  • measure related farmer...
Weeds
March 11, 2021 6:18 PM

With spring temperatures arriving in Iowa, grain producers should pay extra attention to the condition of the grain in their bins.

Cold winter temperatures keep mold and insect activity low in stored grain. Rising spring temperatures can trigger spoiling of grain that is...

Grain Handling and Storage
March 9, 2021 9:38 PM

 

Recent ISU Field Agronomist retirement announcements include Brian Lang and Paul Kassel.  This has created two openings for ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomists.  There are two positions available – one in northwest Iowa...

Crop Production
March 5, 2021 2:28 PM

Pulse width modulated (PWM) sprayer nozzle technology has been present in the ag industry for many years. These systems can maintain pressure as speed changes by adjusting the duty cycle of the nozzle, allowing more or less product to flow out. Many systems also offer individual nozzle section...

Equipment and Machinery
March 5, 2021 8:06 AM

Due to extensive damage to corn fields last year from the derecho, volunteer corn is a looming threat for many fields this spring. Farmers intending to plant corn in these derecho-affected fields have limited options for managing volunteer corn, thus thoughtful planning is critical. I asked a...

Crop Production, Weeds
March 4, 2021 8:56 AM

Over the last 5-years the Northwest Research Farm near Sutherland, IA has been conducting row spacing by plant population through cultivar trials with two different brands. The trials were not designed to compare brands, but rather provide another comparison to evaluate soybean row spacing and...

Crop Production
March 1, 2021 10:45 AM

Many pastures in Iowa were stressed in 2020 from the dry conditions, storm damage, or overgrazing. Consider improving pasture stands and forage production with either frost seeding or interseeding this spring. Proper planning and preparation are needed to successfully improve pastures, and this...

Crop Production
February 25, 2021 1:12 PM

The 2020 registration for Xtendimax, Engenia and the extension of the Tavium registration included additional restrictions for protection of Endangered Species. 

Iowa counties with Endangered Species protection include Allamakee, Cerro Gordo, Clayton, Delaware, Dickinson, Dubuque, Emmet,...

Pesticide Education
February 22, 2021 1:58 PM

Farmers and crop advisers are invited to attend the Southeast Iowa Agricultural Research Association annual meeting, which will be held virtually this year via Zoom on Tuesday, March 4, at 8 a.m.

The annual meeting will feature the following topics and speakers: “A Review of the 2020...

Crop Production
February 16, 2021 1:35 PM

One of the most common questions coming out of any winter is “how did the insects do?” In winters like this, where we have extended cold spells, farmers and agronomists alike want to know whether the cold was enough to kill some of our most common crop pests. Entomologists Erin Hodgson and...

Insects and Mites
February 15, 2021 8:10 PM

Several Crop Protection Network (CPN) webinars are scheduled for this spring. Some of the best minds in agriculture will talk about ways to keep soybeans healthy.

Martin Chilvers, Michigan State University associate professor of plant pathology; Carl Bradley, University of Kentucky...

Plant Diseases
February 15, 2021 11:00 AM

Iowa State University’s IPM Team has monitored field crop pests for a long time. The pests have changed over the years, but the goal is the same: to help inform farmers about pest activity in Iowa. Our moth trapping efforts target migratory moths. Black cutworm monitoring is a long-standing...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites

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