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 25, 2023 4:06 PM

Agronomy in the Field is a workshop series for women that provides learning opportunities for forage and crop production. Focus is placed on developing agronomic decision-making skills that can be utilized on one’s own personal farm or family cropping operations, including water quality and...

Crop Production
April 25, 2023 12:41 PM

While there was quite a bit of field activity two weeks ago across the state, this last week’s cooler temperatures and rainfall across the state have resulted in minimal field activity. ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomists share...

Crop Production
April 20, 2023 12:04 PM

Warm weather and strong winds during the second week of moth trapping pushed many moths northward into Iowa. During week 2 of the Iowa Moth Trapping Network (April 9 to April 15), our cooperators reported 95 black cutworm (BCW) and 46 true armyworm (TAW) moths around the state. Two significant...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 19, 2023 10:04 AM

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has completed their spring survey of subsoil moisture in northwest Iowa.  The amount of subsoil moisture is sampled in the fall and spring across northwest Iowa each year.  Sites within this survey have been sampled for decades providing a historical...

Crop Production, Soils
April 12, 2023 12:55 PM

The 2023 moth trapping season is underway, and our volunteers began placing traps the week of March 26. Black cutworm (BCW) monitoring is a long-standing project in Iowa, and true armyworm (TAW) was added in 2017. Both of these pests are migratory, making it difficult to predict where...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 12, 2023 8:08 AM

And it seems like spring is finally here, and with that field activities are starting to pick-up across the state. ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomists share a quick update on what conditions look like and what activities are...

Crop Production
April 11, 2023 10:28 AM

Crop scouting performed by farmers and Ag professionals is one of the most important steps towards predicting possible issues and diagnosing existing problems with health of a field- informing critical management decisions.  

Made possible by partnering with Integrated Pest Management (...

Plant Diseases
April 10, 2023 7:49 PM

With the onset of planting season, it is necessary to watch for winter annuals and early emerging summer annuals in corn and soybean fields. Consider applying burndown herbicides to control those weeds when temperatures are above 55 F to improve the effectiveness of herbicide application.

Weeds, Herbicide Resistance
April 10, 2023 3:28 PM

Calves, robins, geese, vultures… all signs confirming spring’s arrival in Iowa. The green up can feel like it arrived in hours, and it really is changing by the hour. Rye is among the first species to break winter dormancy and grows when temperatures reach 38 degrees F. While how fast the growth...

Crop Production
April 7, 2023 7:30 AM

When is the best time to plant? Somewhere between April 10 and May 31 for corn and for soybean April 10 (southern Iowa) and April 15 (northern 2/3 of Iowa) to June 15. Those are according to crop insurance dates. By now you know I don’t like talking about planting dates. The calendar date doesn’...

Crop Production
April 5, 2023 5:41 PM

With April now here, the talk of planting will be a daily talking point for farmers across Iowa. With new genetics, more seed treatments, better tile drainage, farmers are pushing the planting date earlier for corn and soybean in Iowa. For 2023 the early crop insurance date is April 10th...

Crop Production
April 4, 2023 3:56 PM

This post is not to explain what corn edge effect is or what is causing the phenomenon but rather throw out a couple thoughts on possible solutions. Briefly, corn edge effect is when yields around the outside...

Crop Production
April 3, 2023 11:57 AM

Join us on May 17th for a Crop Scout School at the Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Crawfordsville. ...

Crop Production
April 3, 2023 11:35 AM

The warmer weather forecast has me thinking about new beginnings and the resurrection of our dormant overwintering cover crops. While some will let the covers grow for some time yet, those covers in fields going to corn this spring will likely be terminated in the next few weeks. Regardless of...

Crop Production, Weeds
March 30, 2023 11:39 AM

A Masters of Agronomy student, Kelsey Richie, is conducting a survey in hopes of getting a better understanding of how tar spot may affect farmers' decisions around fungicides.

Plant Diseases
March 27, 2023 8:03 PM

As pastures begin to green up, unwanted weeds may start to pop up too. Early spring is an excellent time to clean up biennials, winter annuals, and some perennials present in pastures. This article will focus on management considerations for weeds we might find in the early spring.


Crop Production, Weeds
March 13, 2023 10:43 AM

As we look ahead and gear up for the upcoming growing season, ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomists share a quick update on what conditions look like across the state in their respective regions.

North Central Iowa

Crop Production
March 9, 2023 4:05 PM

The dry conditions in parts of the state in 2022 put extra stress on pastures. Consequently, some pastures may have been grazed shorter than cattlemen would have liked. Additionally, nitrogen prices continue to rise as well as all costs associated with pasture management. As we head into the...

Crop Production
March 9, 2023 1:19 PM

Spring is always a good time to clean house and freshen up resources. This blog is the second in a series, providing updates to commonly used web-based resources and electronic communications. The first blog,...

Soil Fertility
March 6, 2023 2:42 PM

Each year new insect management resources are made available or are updated to provide the latest information. This blog provides a brief update to some popular resources. 

The 2023 version of the Handy Bt Trait Table is now available through this Texas A&M Agrilife Extension...

Insects and Mites
March 3, 2023 7:49 AM

You are invited to join Science for Success, a national team of soybean extension specialists, for our webinar series on early season soybean management. 

The content will be focused on the new research and materials that we have recently released specifically for US soybean producers....

Crop Production
February 22, 2023 2:08 PM

On February 16, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the label amendments that further restrict the use of over-the-top (OTT) dicamba in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. For the 2023 season, the revised federal labels for XtendiMax, Engenia and Tavium contains a new cut-off date...

Crop Production, Weeds, Herbicide Resistance
February 15, 2023 9:47 AM

Iowa State University’s IPM Team has monitored field crop pests for a long time. The pests have changed over the years, but the 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 13, 2023 8:00 AM

Farmers and those who provide consultation to farmers, as well as the general public, are invited to the...

Crop Production
January 30, 2023 8:46 AM

What: A survey about farmers’ crop insurance decisions, led by Iowa State University researchers in collaboration with researchers at Kansas State University, Michigan State University, and University of Illinois—Urbana-...

Crop Production