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 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
May 4, 2020 1:42 PM

Clinic update

As the time for crop germination approaches, the staff of the Plant and Diagnostic Clinic (PIDC) want to reiterate that while the clinic is running at a reduced capacity, physical samples will still be accepted this season. Staff still request that interactions with the...

Plant Diseases
May 4, 2020 8:26 AM

Late last week, Dr. Justin Glisan, State Climatologist of Iowa for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, wrote some really interesting comments about the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center monthly outlooks. We’ve...

Crop Production
May 1, 2020 8:49 AM

Planting occurred at a near record pace in much of Iowa due to lack of rain in late April. This string of dry weather also allowed most herbicide applications to be made in a timely fashion, but now there is concern about herbicide performance after prolonged time on the soil surface.


April 30, 2020 9:41 AM

Black cutworm (BCW) and true armyworm (TAW) moths continue to be active in Iowa. Last week, our cooperators in southern Iowa reported 37 total TAW moths. April 24 seemed to be the date with the largest flights: 14 TAW moths were caught around the state on that day alone. BCW moths were more...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 28, 2020 1:38 PM

The past week provided a big window for fieldwork ranging from tillage and fertilizer applications to spraying and planting across the state. According to the...

Crop Production
April 27, 2020 9:50 PM

If you missed the live version, a recorded version of the April 22 “Stored grain handling and management webinar” is now available by going to this link:

Grain Handling and Storage
April 24, 2020 10:12 AM

Despite the cold weather last week (April 12-18), moths were active throughout Iowa. April 13 had the most reports. Our cooperators around the state reported a total of 24 black cutworm (BCW) and 12 true armyworm (TAW) moths on that day alone. Figures 1 and 2 show the total moth captures in each...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 24, 2020 9:24 AM

Moth trapping in Iowa is underway. Each year, we monitor field crop pests to help inform scouting activities in Iowa. In 2020, our moth trapping network includes black cutworm (BCW) and true armyworm (TAW; Figure 1). Both of these pests are migratory, making it difficult to predict where...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 24, 2020 8:10 AM

Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in December of 2018 and passage of Senate File 599 in Iowa have paved the road to the legalization of growing hemp in Iowa. The permitting process is currently open in Iowa. The application deadline for the 2020 outdoor growing season is May 15, 2020.  Listed below...

Crop Production
April 23, 2020 3:41 PM

The Forecasting and Assessment of Cropping Systems (FACTS) project is up and running with accurate, recent data to inform decision making for a variety of industry professionals. FACTS is an ongoing project developed to forecast and evaluate in...

Crop Production
April 22, 2020 4:12 PM

This week has been the start of planting for many in Iowa. After the recent cold spell, conditions are favorable to start fieldwork back up again. It’s likely a significant portion of crop ground in Iowa will get planted this week, with the majority of the weather forecast being supportive of...

Equipment and Machinery
April 21, 2020 12:01 PM

While the cooler and snowy weather may have limited field activities last week, farmers are getting back to the fields across the state this week, with many getting started on planting. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agronomists share reports on what they are seeing and...

Crop Production
April 20, 2020 12:01 PM

With quite a bit of grain getting put into storage last fall that was wetter than normal, this could lead to some potential issues with quality, handling, and safety issues this spring and summer.

To help address these potential issues, there will be a “Stored Grain Handling and...

Grain Handling and Storage
April 14, 2020 6:25 PM

Farmers in Iowa have been experimenting with very early soybean planting dates, from late March to mid-April. Based on reviews of the yield data, there is not a consistent yield benefit to planting early as opposed to planting the first week of May. But one benefit of very early planting is that...

Crop Production
April 13, 2020 7:24 AM

The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) population east of the Rocky Mountains has declined for many reasons, but loss of milkweed (Asclepias spp.), its’ larval host plant, in the U.S. Midwest, is a contributing factor. To help increase the monarch population, an estimated 1.6...

Insects and Mites
April 10, 2020 3:10 PM

By Madelynn Connell and Emily Heaton 

Many people in the Midwest have recently experienced the bitter-cold temperatures brought on by arctic air falling into the mid-latitudes. While these temperatures can make people rather uncomfortable, they are also potentially dangerous to miscanthus...

Crop Production
April 9, 2020 12:47 PM

March into early April has been warm enough and dry enough to the point that soil conditions are good for planting. The calendar date is a bit early; after all the crop insurance, replanting is April 11. Regardless, many are pondering if they should be planting corn already, and some maybe...

Crop Production
April 8, 2020 10:55 AM

As nutrient and land management practices continue to change, more growers are considering strip-till. Advances in equipment technology, GPS, and application control systems have helped to overcome many challenges growers typically associate with strip-till. Combine this with the many...

Crop Production