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.

March 2, 2020 4:38 PM

The Iowa State University on-farm cooperator demonstration trial program has a long-standing relationship with Iowa corn and soybean farmers. This program provides support and assistance to farmers interested in setting up strip trials to test new ideas on their farms. Local agricultural...

Crop Production
February 26, 2020 5:41 PM

Now is the time to be thinking about improving pasture stands by either the frost seeding method in February and early March or interseeding later in the spring months. Below are guidelines and considerations when it comes to frost seeding or interseeding.

Frost seeding...

Crop Production
February 24, 2020 4:56 PM

CLARION, Iowa – A growing season outlook and a discussion on corn planting date research will highlight the annual meeting of the North Central Iowa Research Association March 4. The meeting will also feature an update of research at the Iowa State University Northern Research Farm at Kanawha....

Crop Production
February 24, 2020 4:46 PM

Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach will host two soil fertility workshops to help ag producers interpret soil test results and determine fertilizer needs and recommendations.

The first workshop will be held Wednesday, Feb. 26 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Sac County...

Crop Production
February 24, 2020 4:08 PM

Farmers and crop advisors are invited to attend the Southeast Iowa Agricultural Research Association annual meeting, which will be held at the Johnson County Extension Office in Iowa City on Thursday, March 5, 2020 beginning at 10 a.m.

Registration and refreshments will begin at 9:30 a.m...

Crop Production
February 21, 2020 5:16 PM

Iowa State University’s IPM Team has monitored field crop pests for a long time. The pests have changed over the years, but our goal is the same: to help inform farmers about pest activity in Iowa. Our moth trapping efforts target migratory moths. Black cutworm monitoring is a long-standing...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
February 21, 2020 12:59 PM

Current and Future Miscanthus in Iowa


Crop Production
February 13, 2020 11:46 AM

Do you have plans for March 7th? If you’re already experiencing cabin fever, come do something productive with your day by attending the Field Crop Scout School hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Whether you’re an experienced scout or new, there’ll be something...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases, Weeds
February 4, 2020 8:02 AM

After a fairly long hiatus, a tweet from Corteva has earned a coveted spot in the HOS. This is a tough one since the company has used a farmer’s quote to disregard the principles of integrated weed management, rather than someone in marketing dreaming up an irresponsible advertisement.


January 21, 2020 4:39 PM

Initial February temperature and precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) indicate elevated probabilities of colder than average conditions across much of the Midwest, including Iowa (not pictured). On the precipitation side, there’s a slightly elevated signal for drier...

Crop Production
January 17, 2020 1:21 PM

This winter we will be hosting several soil fertility workshops around the state to help farmers better understand how to interpret soil test results and make soil fertility recommendations.

Join us for one of these workshops to:

  • Learn how soil tests are done and what they...
Soil Fertility
January 13, 2020 4:30 PM

Although ‘pure’ botanists often scoff at the use of common names for plants, common names are a useful tool when working with domesticated plants and weeds since the pool of species is relatively small.  One problem with common names is they may vary from location to location. When I started...

January 3, 2020 11:47 AM

Many producers put grain into their storage bins last fall at higher moisture contents than normal, due to late crop maturity and less in-field drying in 2019. For grain stored wetter than recommended for storage through the winter months (above 15% for corn and 13% for soybeans), it is...

Grain Handling and Storage
January 3, 2020 8:47 AM

The new crop season is just around the corner, and we want you to be prepared for the yield-reducing disease, insect and weed challenges affecting your fields. That's why the Iowa State Extension Store is making available, for a limited time, the ...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites, Pesticide Education, Plant Diseases, Weeds
December 10, 2019 9:18 AM

The Crop Protection Network (CPN) has added an additional publication series to its wealth of print and PDF resources. Beginning in 2020, CPN’s online library will feature annual Research Updates, highlighting advancements in crop-pest...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases, Weeds
December 2, 2019 10:22 AM

Passing a farm operation to the next generation is usually one of the biggest and most challenging decisions farm families will ever make.

Many things are at stake – money, emotions, goals and lifestyles – and farm families need to think critically about where they’re at today, and where...

Crop Production
November 26, 2019 9:25 AM

Soybean seedling diseases are a major yield-reducing factor in soybean production. In 2017 alone, it was estimated that over 50 million bushels of grain were lost in the U.S. as a result of seedling diseases, and nearly 2 million bushels were lost in Ontario, Canada. As weather patterns — such...

Crop Production, Plant Diseases
November 22, 2019 9:58 AM

Register for the University of Iowa Biomass Fuel Project Update Meeting! 

Friday December 13th @ 10-11:30AM (public meeting)

Linn County Extension Office


Crop Production
November 13, 2019 3:31 PM

Update Note: This was first published November 13, 2019. As of November 19, 2019 we are expecting a few days of warm weather; dewpoints will get above freezing. It would be counterproductive to keep the fans on during this period.

The late planting has caused higher moisture corn...

Grain Handling and Storage
November 12, 2019 1:11 PM

The Crop Protection Network (CPN) recently launched its new “Field Crop Disease Loss Calculator” research tool, complete with years of historical data for estimated losses caused by disease in corn and soybeans in the U.S. and Ontario, Canada...

Crop Production, Plant Diseases
November 11, 2019 7:08 AM

Waterhemp’s rise to the Cornbelt’s worst weed is one of the Cornbelt’s more fascinating weed-related events over the past 40 years.  Waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) is native to the United States but is a relative newcomer to crop fields. Prior to waterhemp’s ascent, redroot pigweed...

November 4, 2019 12:08 PM

As fields get harvested many farmers are making fall manure applications. Managed properly, manure can be an excellent source of valuable nutrients, but it can also pose risks to water quality when applied long before a crop is present to take up the nitrogen provided by manure. This ICM Blog...

Soil Fertility
November 4, 2019 8:18 AM

The meteorological winter (December-January-February) temperature and precipitation outlooks were recently released by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC). In winter, the phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate signal typically influences temperature and precipitation...

Crop Production
October 30, 2019 8:30 AM

With a growing number of cover crop acres across the state of Iowa, some producers are looking to cover crops to help extend their grazing season. While cover crops have the potential to be an extra forage source and reduce feed costs, there are challenges with using cover crops as a forage...

Crop Production
October 29, 2019 5:48 PM

Recent reports have Iowa corn at about 40% harvested and Iowa soybeans about 66% harvested. The late crop has corn moistures running from around 19% in...

Grain Handling and Storage