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.

May 24, 2022 2:33 PM

Weather conditions were quite favorable this past week allowing Iowa farmers 5.4 days for fieldwork across Iowa allowing for significant planting progress across nearly all of Iowa.  With that said, there are still isolated pockets where soils remain too wet to allow for fieldwork.  Frost...

Crop Production
May 20, 2022 9:13 AM

It is the time of year when Extension Field Agronomists receive questions from farmers who have been asked if they can apply pesticides for their neighbors. There are a few things you should know before you agree to apply pesticides for your neighbors. 

A private pesticide applicator in...

Pesticide Education
May 18, 2022 10:12 AM

Last week, moth flights into Iowa were slightly lower than previous weeks. In total, our cooperators captured 55 true armyworm (TAW) moths and 102 black cutworm (BCW) moths during Week 7 (May 8 to May 14).

Week 7 report:

Moths of each species were captured almost...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 18, 2022 9:06 AM

When a pesticide application moves beyond the application site to a place it’s not wanted – known as pesticide drift – it can cause damage to acreages, gardens, and landscape plants. Pesticide drift can occur virtually anywhere – in rural areas, towns, and cities.

Are You Sure It’...

Pesticide Education
May 17, 2022 12:56 PM

Farmers finally caught a break last week and were able to make a lot of planting progress across most of the state. Some areas that did not miss the rains last week had more limited progress made with getting the crop in the ground. The earlier planted crops and even some of the crops put in...

Crop Production
May 16, 2022 1:53 PM

Western and northern corn rootworms are serious corn pests in Iowa and the Corn Belt. These pests readily adapt to management tactics, especially in continuous corn production. The larvae consume corn roots, reducing nutrient and water uptake and causing stalk lodging. The adults may also feed...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 12, 2022 10:54 AM

The planting is slow in 2022 – according to last Monday’s USDA Crop Progress Report corn planting was at 14% and soybean planting was at 7% complete. This is nearly two weeks behind normal. This week’s warm temperatures have driven up soil temperatures but wet soil conditions are still the...

Crop Production
May 11, 2022 10:26 AM

Moth flights into Iowa continued to increase last week. In total, our cooperators captured 118 true armyworm (TAW) moths and 183 black cutworm (BCW) moths during Week 6 (May 1 to May 7).

Week 6 report:

Moths of each species were captured almost every day last...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 10, 2022 2:22 PM

While not much planting progress was made last week (again), the warmer and drier weather this week should provide more favorable conditions for fieldwork and planting. Some of the hot topics over the last week across the state included concerns about cover crop termination, seeding forages yet...

Crop Production
May 6, 2022 2:18 PM

This spring's weather has resulted in an unusually slow start to the growing season, especially when compared with the past two years. In springs like these, field operations are condensed and there may be temptation to skip some of the field preparation to get acres planted in a timely manner....

Weeds, Herbicide Resistance
May 6, 2022 10:34 AM

Corn and soybean planting is progressing very slowly across the state. The starting soil conditions (temperature, water, nitrogen) however are very different from last year. In this blog we’ll benchmark soil conditions using simulated data from...

Crop Production
May 4, 2022 3:41 PM

When selecting a pesticide, make sure you read the label to ensure that you have the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed...

Pesticide Education
May 4, 2022 10:59 AM

Last week, we saw an increase in the number of moths caught around the state. This is not surprising considering a few storm systems moved through the Midwest, and strong southerly winds prevailed on April 23 and during the late part of last week. In total, our cooperators captured 105 true...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 3, 2022 9:42 PM

It has been a slow start to the 2022 growing season with minimal fieldwork and planting done across the state. According to the USDA-NASS May 2 Crop Progress...

Crop Production
May 3, 2022 9:48 AM

Brrrrrrrrr.  Is summer ever going to come?  It’s cold.  It’s wet.  Planting progress is behind and everyone is starting to get antsy. When we finally get our seed in the ground, as Emily Unglesbee so eloquently wrote, “...

Plant Diseases
May 3, 2022 8:30 AM

Over the last couple of weeks there have been numerous reports of both corn and soybean fields being planted. At present, soil temperatures are hovering just below 50oF for most of the state, with the exception of portions of southern corner of Iowa. What should we expect from these...

Crop Production
May 2, 2022 1:07 PM

For many years, we have provided scouting alerts for key insect pests on ICM News and ICM Blog, including...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 2, 2022 11:46 AM

Today during our Crops Team meeting, many field agronomists shared that cool soil temperatures and rain have delayed planting in Iowa, but there are some very determined farmers getting acres planted around the state. These cool and wet conditions during spring are favorable for a few seed and...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 28, 2022 12:56 PM

Black cutworm (BCW) and true armyworm (TAW) moths continued to migrate into Iowa during Week 4 (April 17 to April 23). Last week, our cooperators reported a total of 60 BCW and 13 TAW moths throughout the state.

Week 4 report:

All of the moths were captured in...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 21, 2022 8:42 AM

The cooler temperatures this spring have slowed down alfalfa growth, but alfalfa weevil could already be active based on growing degree day (GDD) accumulation since January 1. We recommend beginning...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 20, 2022 4:44 PM

Windy conditions last week brought our first large flights of black cutworm (BCW) and true armyworm (TAW) moths to Iowa. During Week 3 (April 10 to April 16), our cooperators reported a total of 49 BCW and 20 TAW moths throughout the state.

Week 3 report:


Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 19, 2022 8:00 AM

Yesterday’s crop progress and condition report indicated little to no planting progress for corn or soybean. This is not a bad thing, considering the temperatures the five days. All hope is not lost! Iowa farmers are able to plant an incredible number of acres really fast. Larger planters,...

Crop Production
April 14, 2022 8:16 AM

Cold weather has kept migratory moths out of Iowa through Week 2 of the trapping network. However, our cooperators have seen some native moths show up in their true armyworm traps. During week 2 of the Iowa Moth...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 13, 2022 9:08 AM

It is the time of year when forecasts become a bigger concern for Iowa crop producers. Nearly everyone has their favorite choice for getting their weather information. In this article we will be sharing weather sites we use when discussing weather issues with our crop production clients.

Crop Production
April 11, 2022 4:22 PM

Although it has been uncharacteristically cold recently, it is officially springtime in Iowa and many insects are coming to life. One of the first things the field crop entomologists do each year is coordinate the Iowa Moth Trapping Network. Usually, these traps catch the specific species we are...

Insects and Mites