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.

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Meaghan Anderson
August 8, 2016 4:46 PM

Several soybean diseases have become noticeable after recent rainfall across the state.

The following diseases are currently showing up regularly across Iowa soybean fields, depending on your location in the state:

Plant Diseases
August 5, 2016 11:57 AM

On Tuesday, Aug.2, eight teams of Iowa youth (grades 9-12) participated in the sixth annual Crop Scouting Competition. The teams were scored on their knowledge of crop insects, diseases, growth and development, and weed identification with a written test and field stations located throughout the...

Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases, Weeds
August 1, 2016 4:58 PM

Typically anthracnose is a disease associated with corn as a leaf blight or stalk rot, or ...

Plant Diseases
July 29, 2016 7:51 AM

Iowa Code 317 is the section of the Iowa Code that defines the Iowa Noxious Weed Law.  Chapter 317.1 is the piece of legislation that actually defines which...

July 28, 2016 9:59 AM

A recent visit to a field with three different planting dates showed the varied crop progress in my area.

The Useful to Usable ...

Crop Production
July 25, 2016 12:35 PM

Japanese knotweed is one of the most difficult weeds to eradicate due to its extensive woody root system.  In England it is notorious for caving in basement walls where it was planted as a foundation plant.  At least 15 years ago I discovered a 'nice' patch of Japanese bamboo along the banks of...

July 25, 2016 8:48 AM

ISU Field Agronomists around the state have noted Japanese beetle feeding injury in corn and soybean over the last week. Japanese beetles have a wide host range that includes many species of fruit and vegetable crops, ornamentals, and field crops. Adults prefer to feed between soybean leaf veins...

Insects and Mites
July 21, 2016 3:24 PM

This past week I have been busy with disease diagnostic workshops at the ISU Field Education and Extension Laboratory. For those of you who have attended my sessions before, you know that I usually have a quiz that consists of leaves with various diseases and disease look-a-likes or imposters. I...

Plant Diseases
July 21, 2016 8:24 AM

The lowest level of insect injury where damage can be measured is called the damage boundary. The damage boundary is a biological relationship between the insect, crop, and environment; and is independent of input costs (e.g., seed, insecticide, etc.). Managing a pest below the...

Insects and Mites
July 20, 2016 5:19 PM

This spring consisted of wet field conditions for many regions across Iowa during planting season. When soil moisture is at or exceeds field capacity, there is an increased potential for soil compaction, particularly at topsoil depths. Soil compaction at planting time can impact root growth and...

Soil Management
July 19, 2016 7:17 AM

Soybean aphid feeds fluids within the phloem fluids (sometimes referred to as "sap") by inserting piercing-sucking mouthparts directly into the phloem vessels. Prior to feeding, aphids "taste" the sap to determine if the plant is a suitable host species and if the quality is acceptable. Once...

Insects and Mites
July 18, 2016 11:14 AM

I’ve seen more people walking beans and had more comments about it than I can remember in a long time.  Perhaps it's time for Greg Brown to re-release his classic ‘Walking the Beans’, first released on ‘The Iowa Waltz’ album in 1981....

July 13, 2016 1:56 PM

The current epidemic of wild parsnip has garnered much attention due to the toxins present in the plant.  Since wild parsnip is a biennial, mowing is often recommended as a control option.  The theory is that by preventing seed production, mowing can eliminate future infestations.  In practice,...

July 8, 2016 7:54 AM

About twice a year I get asked these questions. "Angie, what are you doing to promote cover crops in north central Iowa? We just don't have many acres of cover crops up there." Or, "Angie, what can we do to get more cover crops in north central Iowa?" I usually chuckle at these questions, and...

Crop Production
July 8, 2016 6:53 AM

Western corn rootworm (WCR) and northern corn rootworm (NCR) eggs overwinter in the soil and larval hatch is based on accumulated degree days (ADD) of soil temperatures each year. Average hatching dates for Iowa are in early June, with southern counties experiencing egg hatch before northern...

Insects and Mites
July 7, 2016 11:24 AM

Since the last clinic update (6/17/2016), we are starting to transition from seedling diseases to foliar diseases. There is quite a bit of concern from clients about getting an early jump on foliar diseases, in order to plan for foliar fungicide applications. Similarly to the last blog, a...

Plant Diseases
July 7, 2016 9:51 AM

Storms hit eastern Iowa yesterday, bringing variable amounts of rainfall and enough wind to blow some corn down. The damage seems to extend across multiple counties, but I witnessed many fields with varying amounts of damage in Linn and Jones counties.


Crop Production
July 7, 2016 8:53 AM

Spider mites the end of June or first part of July? Our hot and dry weather here in southeastern Iowa have provided favorable conditions for spider mites. Typically we do not see spider mites reaching economically damaging levels until late July or early August when conations (hot and ry) are...

Insects and Mites
July 6, 2016 7:36 AM

Wild parsnip is a biennial that was introduced to North America by the earliest European colonists, it is documented to have been grown in Virginia as early as 1609. In his 1913 book The Weed Flora of Iowa, L. H. Pammel described wild parsnip as ‘common on roadsides in every part of...

July 5, 2016 11:01 AM

Last week, my lab crew found a few different caterpillars feeding in our soybean plots at the ISU Northwest Research Farm. They were hesitant to identify it in the field, so they brought one to me for a confirmation. First, I noticed it had a green body and green head and four pairs of prolegs...

Insects and Mites
June 29, 2016 12:25 PM

This week, I got a note from Tristan Mueller (Iowa Soybean Association) seeing some corn leaf injury from redheaded flea beetle. The defoliation was noticeable and the farmer was considering a foliar insecticide. The fields did not have tasseled yet and he estimated 5-6 beetles per plant. 

Crop Production, Insects and Mites