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.

July 8, 2020 7:00 AM

There is no question that dicamba injury across the Iowa landscape in 2020 is the most extensive it has been since the introduction of dicamba in the 1960s. ISUEO field agronomists and commercial agronomists in several areas of the state report nearly all non-dicamba resistant soybean are...

July 7, 2020 9:49 PM

Limited rainfall and the warmer temperatures causing crop stress, herbicide injury in soybeans, soybean gall midge, and Japanese beetles were some of the common issues or concerns that ISU Extension field agronomists saw in fields across the state this last week. Read on to see what’s happening...

Crop Production
July 7, 2020 8:26 AM

Extension specialists in Iowa and Minnesota are again collaborating to provide a series of short webinars for farmers, ag professionals, Extension personnel and other interested parties from July 14 to July 23. The theme is “Essential Row Crop Management" for summer 2020, with a focus on key...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases
July 3, 2020 10:20 AM

Nearly 20 years ago I summarized research from the University of Minnesota investigating factors that influence volatilization of dicamba (Behrens and Lueschen. 1979. Dicamba volatility. Weed Sci...

July 2, 2020 3:27 PM

After visiting several ISU Research and Demonstration Farms this week, our summer crew started seeing caterpillars in soybean plots. Many species are possible at once, but rarely do they cause economic injury in Iowa. Defoliation must exceed 20% after bloom to justify a rescue foliar treatment...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 30, 2020 10:38 PM

Lack of moisture in the western part of the state to excess moisture in the eastern part of the state, herbicide injury in soybeans, and bacterial leaf streak in corn were the common issues or concerns that ISU Extension field agronomists saw and heard about this past week. Read on to see what’s...

Crop Production
June 29, 2020 6:46 PM

We’ve seen more herbicide injury to soybean than I recall in past summers, resulting in questions about determining the source and reasons for the damage. This ICM Blog will share some tips on identifying herbicide injury we’ve seen this summer in soybean fields.

Crop injury may be caused...

Weeds, Herbicide Resistance
June 25, 2020 10:01 PM

There have been a few fields where topramezone – the active ingredient in Impact and Armezon – carried over from an application last June – and is injuring this year’s soybean crop. Other agronomists have reported carryover of other Group 27 herbicides on soybean this year (mesotrione,...

Crop Production
June 25, 2020 1:09 PM

 M. Licht).
Leaf ripples and yellowing shortly after the whorl unfurls...

Crop Production
June 23, 2020 10:13 PM

Spotty rainfall across the state, herbicide drift, “Rapid Growth Syndrome” in corn, and shorter beans were common issues or concerns that ISU Extension Field Agronomists saw and heard about this past week. Read on for more specifics about what’s happening in different regions across the state....

Crop Production
June 23, 2020 9:40 AM

Many farmers and agronomists are noticing short soybean this spring. Some are pondering if there is something that can be done to spur some additional growth as flowering is fast approaching, if not already begun. The surprise with short soybean is that planting was timely. The unfortunate...

Crop Production, Equipment and Machinery
June 22, 2020 3:27 PM

Over the weekend there have been several reports of bacterial leaf streak (BLS) of corn in eastern Iowa.  The infections also appear to be quite severe (Figure 1).


Plant Diseases
June 22, 2020 1:17 PM

There have been reports of flowers in the earliest planted soybeans, and I observed them in NW Iowa late last week. That means these beans are entering the R-1 stage of development. If you have a history of white mold in your soybeans and are considering treatment for reducing the impact of this...

Plant Diseases
June 18, 2020 4:40 PM

Temperature Inversions

It is never recommended to spray a pesticide when a temperature inversion exists, and many labels provide guidelines to follow in order to avoid applications during one. This blog will discuss what temperature inversions are, why they can be...

Crop Production, Pesticide Education, Weeds
June 18, 2020 3:56 PM

Today, with Ashley Dean and Angie Rieck-Hinz, I met Warren Pierson at FEEL to look for corn rootworm larvae. I predicted peak corn rootworm egg hatch for central Iowa this week based on accumulating degree days. We had no trouble finding larvae in refuge corn, ranging from ¼ to ½ inches in...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 17, 2020 3:58 PM

The growing season is in full swing, and as Iowa growers and gardeners move along toward the Fourth of July, it is important to remember that the COVID-19 precautions continue to alter operations at the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic (PIDC).

The PIDC continues to...

Plant Diseases
June 16, 2020 9:26 PM

Reports of soybean gall midge adults emerging, rainfall or lack of rainfall, weed management concerns, and herbicide drift were some of the common issues or concerns that ISU Extension field agronomists saw or heard about this past week. Read on for more about what's happening in specific...

Crop Production
June 15, 2020 10:18 AM

Radiation is down up to June 1 according the latest FACTS extrapolations.

The springtime decreases in radiation—especially in May—could have caused yellowing corn leaves and slowed down leaf appearance rates (radiation and moisture play a role in phenology, even though temperature is the...

Crop Production
June 12, 2020 3:45 PM

Today, ISU entomology graduate student, Mitchell Helton, captured the first adult soybean gall midge in Iowa. Just a few hours later, cooperator Lauren Botine (Corteva Agriscience), collected another adult. Currently, our traps are placed in fields infested with soybean gall midge in 2019. There...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 9, 2020 8:46 PM

Sidedressing nitrogen, post emergence herbicide applications, and putting up hay were the main field activities that took place over this past week across the state. Some of the issues ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists saw this past week ranged from dry conditions in the western part...

Crop Production
June 9, 2020 3:23 PM

Yellowing of corn plants early in the season can be confusing to diagnose. And in some conditions there may be a period of time after corn emergence where small corn just does not look good. There can be a number of causes for plant yellowing. An example is the description in a recent ICM Blog...

Soil Fertility
June 9, 2020 1:59 PM

One important benefit of cover crops to our production system is providing an alternative selection pressure on weed populations. Cereal rye has the best potential to suppress weeds because it accumulates more biomass than other cover crop species.  Weed suppression is closely related to the...

June 5, 2020 6:47 AM

Numerous herbicides registered for postemergence use on Xtend soybean have excellent activity on important weeds of Iowa’s soybean fields. Unfortunately, herbicide resistance in waterhemp is widespread to the herbicide groups active on this weed: Group 2 (ALS inhibitors), 9 (glyphosate) and 14 (...

Herbicide Resistance
June 4, 2020 9:52 AM

Earlier this week I was out in corn fields "helping" my lab crew collect disease data.  The corn was not looking great but hopefully it has perked up with the past few days of sun and warmth. I know I have!

I noticed in my corn-on-corn fields anthracnose leaf blight on the lower leaves of...

Plant Diseases
June 3, 2020 9:59 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 36...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites