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.

June 6, 2023 11:06 AM

The trapping season for true armyworm (TAW) and black cutworm (BCW) has come to an end. We appreciate our cooperators for tirelessly checking traps the last two months and reporting their captures so we can provide the most accurate scouting information for these pests. To recap, we had 31...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 5, 2023 8:36 PM

The final June climatological outlooks from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issued on May 31st continue to show similar patterns as the initial outlooks from mid-May. On the temperature side, there are higher probabilities of warmer-than-average conditions across most of Iowa. A “...

Crop Production
June 1, 2023 3:02 PM

With the steady growth and production of pasture forages across the state comes the steady appearance and growth of the nuisance pasture weed, multiflora rose (MFR). Due to its unpalatability, most grazing species will not consume MFR, allowing it to continue growing throughout the season and...

May 31, 2023 9:46 PM

The choice to foliar feed crops is a management decision each farmer needs to make based on personal preferences. Before considering these products, we need to first consider the return on the investment and chance for success. 

When considering foliar fertilizing corn and soybean we need...

Crop Production
May 31, 2023 4:16 PM

With turning the calendar to June, now is the time to be seeding warm-season annual forages like sorghum, sorghum-sudangrass, sudangrass, millets, and teff. These forages can help to fill in the gap with the summer slump or provide some extra forage when your perennial forage supply may be short...

Crop Production
May 30, 2023 8:00 AM

It’s a great time of year!  The weather is finally warming up enough to wear shorts and green stripes are finally occurring across the landscape as corn (and beans) emerge.  USDA reports 85%...

Plant Diseases
May 25, 2023 10:23 AM

Moth flights into Iowa slowed down a bit during Week 7 (May 14 to May 20). Cooperators for the Iowa Moth Trapping Network reported 147 black cutworm (BCW) and 130 true armyworm (TAW) moths, with three new significant flights of black cutworm. More details on significant flights and cutting dates...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 25, 2023 7:54 AM

Alfalfa growth is off to the races in many parts of Iowa, and we have heard reports from around the state that insects are very active in alfalfa as well. Field agronomists, especially in southern Iowa, have...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 23, 2023 12:57 PM

Planting is starting to wind down across the state as 95% of the expected corn crop and 84% of the expected soybean crop has been planted according to the ...

Crop Production
May 19, 2023 11:03 AM

Western and northern corn rootworms are serious corn pests in Iowa and the Corn Belt. These pests readily adapt to management tactics, especially in continuous corn production. The larvae consume corn roots, thereby reducing nutrient and water uptake, and cause stalk lodging. The adults may also...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 18, 2023 1:13 PM

Week 6 (May 7 to May 13) of the Iowa Moth Trapping Network was vastly different than the week before. Our cooperators reported 239 black cutworm (BCW) and 295 true armyworm (TAW) moths, with several significant flights occurring around the state.

Recall that we predicted...

Insects and Mites
May 9, 2023 3:13 PM

Very few moths were reported by our cooperators last week. During week 5 of the Iowa Moth Trapping Network (April 30 to May 6), our cooperators reported 41 black cutworm (BCW) and 32 true armyworm (TAW) moths around the state, and there were no new significant flights of BCW to report. However,...

Insects and Mites
May 9, 2023 2:15 PM

Farmers were able to get back in the fields last week across the state and made great strides in planting. Across the state...

Crop Production
May 9, 2023 12:18 PM

Many farmers across the state of Iowa found a nice, early window to get the 2023 planting season kicked off. The second week of April became busy with tillage, planting (both corn and soybeans), and herbicide passes. Unfortunately, that window closed quickly and left us with extended cool...

Crop Production
May 8, 2023 8:46 AM

Corn foliar fungicide trials were done at six locations in Iowa in 2022: ISU Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm (NWRF), Sutherland; Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm (NERF), Nashua; Northern Research and Demonstration Farm (NRF), Kanawha; Southwest Research and Demonstration Farm...

Plant Diseases
May 7, 2023 9:48 PM

The beautiful weather this past week means we’ll see a substantial increase in planted acres on this week’s Crop Progress and Condition Report. Farmers should carefully...

May 3, 2023 12:10 PM

Fewer moths were reported last week than in previous weeks, but even so, the northward migration of two pest species continues. During week 4 of the Iowa Moth Trapping Network (April 23 to April 29), our cooperators reported 71 black cutworm (BCW) and 85 true armyworm (TAW) moths around the...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 26, 2023 11:51 AM

Even with some cooler weather last week, moths continue to migrate northward into Iowa. During week 3 of the Iowa Moth Trapping Network (April 16 to April 22), our cooperators reported 83 black cutworm (BCW) and 110 true armyworm (TAW) moths around the state. Three additional significant flights...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 25, 2023 4:06 PM

Agronomy in the Field is a workshop series for women that provides learning opportunities for forage and crop production. Focus is placed on developing agronomic decision-making skills that can be utilized on one’s own personal farm or family cropping operations, including water quality and...

Crop Production
April 25, 2023 12:41 PM

While there was quite a bit of field activity two weeks ago across the state, this last week’s cooler temperatures and rainfall across the state have resulted in minimal field activity. ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomists share...

Crop Production
April 20, 2023 12:04 PM

Warm weather and strong winds during the second week of moth trapping pushed many moths northward into Iowa. During week 2 of the Iowa Moth Trapping Network (April 9 to April 15), our cooperators reported 95 black cutworm (BCW) and 46 true armyworm (TAW) moths around the state. Two significant...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 19, 2023 10:04 AM

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has completed their spring survey of subsoil moisture in northwest Iowa.  The amount of subsoil moisture is sampled in the fall and spring across northwest Iowa each year.  Sites within this survey have been sampled for decades providing a historical...

Crop Production, Soils
April 12, 2023 12:55 PM

The 2023 moth trapping season is underway, and our volunteers began placing traps the week of March 26. Black cutworm (BCW) monitoring is a long-standing project in Iowa, and true armyworm (TAW) was added in 2017. Both of these pests are migratory, making it difficult to predict where...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 12, 2023 8:08 AM

And it seems like spring is finally here, and with that field activities are starting to pick-up across the state. ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomists share a quick update on what conditions look like and what activities are...

Crop Production
April 11, 2023 10:28 AM

Crop scouting performed by farmers and Ag professionals is one of the most important steps towards predicting possible issues and diagnosing existing problems with health of a field- informing critical management decisions.  

Made possible by partnering with Integrated Pest Management (...

Plant Diseases