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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 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
April 7, 2020 3:54 PM

Spring has sprung! Preparations for planting across the state are in full swing. Conditions over the last 30 days have been unseasonably warm across the Midwest with positive departures of anywhere from two to four degrees. Early March had a good stretch of dry conditions; the second half of the...

Crop Production
April 7, 2020 3:14 PM

Whether you are thinking about trying strip-till or already using strip-till in your farming operation, the question of timing comes up—fall or spring? There are many factors that go into this decision, including availability of...

Crop Production
April 6, 2020 4:25 PM

In 2019 Iowa had over 460,000 prevented plant acres. As we prepare for the 2020 growing season, one concern we sometimes hear about with prevented plant acres is fallow syndrome. Fallow syndrome happens when the populations of “good fungi” known as vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae (VAM) are...

Crop Production, Soils, Soil Fertility, Soil Management
April 6, 2020 10:04 AM

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Tractor?

Determining the proper ballast and tire pressure for your tractor should be a key part of spring equipment maintenance. Proper ballast and tire pressure will maximize traction and tire life while minimizing fuel consumption...

Equipment and Machinery
April 2, 2020 4:00 PM

Wisconsin has been proudly known as America’s Dairyland for many years. However, recent data on dairy farms in the Driftless Region (Figure 1)...

Crop Production
April 1, 2020 10:43 AM

This year let’s all toss out planting windows for corn. Farmers should be focused on when soil conditions are prime to plant. Soil temperatures need to be on the rise; 50oF and rising. Planting 24-36 hours before a cold spell—regardless of how long—is putting your seed at risk of cold...

Crop Production
March 31, 2020 7:55 AM

Extension specialists in Iowa and Minnesota are collaborating to provide a series of short, daily webinars for farmers, ag professionals, Extension personnel and other interested parties from April 6 to April 10. The theme is “Essential Row Crop Management" for spring 2020, with a focus on key...

Crop Production, Grain Handling and Storage, Soils, Weeds
March 26, 2020 4:10 PM

The USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, along with the...

Crop Production
March 26, 2020 2:39 PM

With the 2020 crop season approaching, ISU Extension has a tool available to help farmers, crop advisers and agronomists understand almost every machine display on the market, for everything from planting to harvest. The interactive monitor guide,...

Equipment and Machinery
March 24, 2020 10:47 AM

With the recent alterations we've all had to make in our lives in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, many of your offseason field days, meetings and/or conventions have either been canceled or suspended indefinitely. This could have put a damper on your plans to receive crop management...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites, Pesticide Education, Plant Diseases, Weeds, Herbicide Resistance
March 19, 2020 10:14 PM

Planting season will soon be upon us, despite the current pandemic. This ICM Blog will discuss a few key things to focus on regarding planter set-up as we approach the 2020 planting season. For a video version of this article, see...

Crop Production
March 19, 2020 8:37 AM

The Crop Protection Network (CPN) has published its 2020 fungicide efficacy tables for foliar diseases of corn and soybean, and for seedling diseases of soybean. These three publications can be found at the CPN website, under resources and...

Crop Production
March 17, 2020 2:05 PM

Due to COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic (PIDC) has made the decision to implement as much distance diagnostics as possible in order to greatly reduce the numbers of physical samples. 

 

We have made this...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases, Soils
March 17, 2020 10:20 AM

Recently Iowa State University (ISU) completed a five-year study of high speed planting technology using the Precision Planting SpeedTube and the John Deere ExactEmerge seed meter and seed delivery system. Both planters provided excellent singulation and spacing of corn while...

Equipment and Machinery
March 11, 2020 1:04 PM

Many farmers put grain in the bin wetter than normal last fall and were somewhat rescued by the cold weather that allowed them to put cold grain into storage. In the coming weeks as spring starts to bring warmer temperatures, grain held through the winter at a high moisture content should be...

Grain Handling and Storage
March 6, 2020 11:47 AM

research plots, field and blue sky.
Miscanthus research plots at Iowa...

Crop Production

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