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.

Subscribe to the Central Iowa Crop Update for current topics and agriculture events in the area.

Meaghan Anderson
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 21, 2020 4:19 PM

Manufacturers of the dicamba products labeled for over-the-top use in soybean (FeXapan, Xtendimax, Tavium, Engenia) are again offering live and online training sessions for pesticide applicators planning to use those products during the 2020 growing season. Live sessions are offered during...

Pesticide Education, Weeds
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 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
October 29, 2019 3:06 PM

You may be in the thick of harvest, but don’t forget to cool stored grain. With forecast average day/night temperatures of 35 to 40 in the coming ten days, the time is right to cool any grain that went into the bin at higher temperatures. This article will review some tips and rules of thumb for...

Grain Handling and Storage
October 29, 2019 11:40 AM

It doesn’t happen every year, but it does occur – snow accumulation before harvest is complete. Here are some considerations and tips for dealing with this unique situation:

Crop Production
October 22, 2019 2:43 PM

Did insects bug you and your crops this year? As the 2019 growing season winds down, ISU Extension field agronomists are seeking information from producers and retailers across the state regarding what the most problematic insect pests were this growing season.

Give us...

Insects and Mites
October 19, 2019 8:58 AM

Combines are the most important seed dispersal mechanism for weeds in our cropping system.  While a small amount of seed may leave the field with grain, most weed seed that enter the combine with the crop are either spread throughout the field or carried to other fields. Harvest weed seed...

October 17, 2019 1:41 PM

Temperatures fell into the low 30’s and upper 20’s in most of Iowa over the weekend of October 11-13.  Because of the very late planting season, some crops were immature enough to be injured by the freezing temperatures. This ICM Blog will address frost damage concerns to soybeans.  


Crop Production, Grain Handling and Storage
October 15, 2019 10:36 AM

Iowa State University Extension Plant Pathologist Daren Mueller will be featured on a North Central Climate Collaborative (NC3) webinar later this month. The focal point of the discussion will be around how climate change is impacting disease expression in both corn and soybean in the North...

Plant Diseases
October 11, 2019 3:09 PM

The weather forecast is calling for temperatures to dip below or close to freezing this weekend across the state of Iowa. What does this mean for forage crops, particularly forage crops such as sudangrass, sorghum,  and sorghum sudangrass hybrids?

A frost event, even a light frost, with...

Crop Production
October 11, 2019 7:16 AM

Tar spot is the latest new disease of corn to be observed in the U.S. The disease was first observed in Indiana in 2015. In 2016, it was found in eastern Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida. Last growing season, the disease caused significant damage to corn in northern Illinois,...

Plant Diseases