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
August 13, 2019 2:12 PM

Limited rain fell across the state this past week, and approximately 36% of the state is considered to be abnormally dry according to the U.S. Drought Monitor as of last Tuesday, August 6. In addition to the dry...

Crop Production
August 13, 2019 9:48 AM

The current approach to weed management in Iowa is at risk due to rapid expansion of herbicide-resistant weeds. In order to preserve the efficacy of herbicides two things must happen: 1) adoption of integrated weed management, and 2) shift the goal of weed management from protecting crop yields...

Herbicide Resistance
August 12, 2019 2:28 PM

The 2019 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Iowa State Fair Weed Identification Contest was held on August 9 outside the John Deere Agriculture Building.  Contestants need to identify live samples of weeds of agricultural, horticultural, and natural habitats in Iowa.  Youth are tasked...

August 11, 2019 11:12 PM

When will the first hard freeze or killing frost (equal to or less than 28°F) date be this fall? This is a question a lot of folks are wondering about right now. Over the last few decades the trend for the first frost and freeze dates in the fall has been that they are occurring later in the...

Crop Production
August 9, 2019 3:57 PM

This past week there have been numerous new reports of tar spot within the Midwest, including Iowa (Figure 1). For updates maps, please visit


Plant Diseases
August 6, 2019 12:18 PM

The growing season started off too wet, but now we are going to the other extreme of being too dry in places. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, just shy of 25% of the state was considered abnormally dry as...

Crop Production
August 2, 2019 2:08 PM

Today in our corn efficacy evaluation trial, Ashley and our undergraduate team found small corn earworm caterpillars infesting ears (Figures 1 and 2). Caterpillars have a light-colored head but vary considerably in color from light green, tan, pink, maroon, and nearly black. However, they almost...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 30, 2019 9:24 PM

Growth regulator damage in soybeans, potato leaf hoppers, gray leaf spot, and thistle caterpillars have been some of the issues or pests ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists have seen in fields this past week. Read on to see what is happening in specific areas across the state.  

Crop Production
July 26, 2019 1:00 PM

I was recently asked if adult corn rootworms are done emerging for 2019. Of course, I respond by saying – it depends! A publication by Nowatzki et al. (2002), developed an emergence model for northern and western corn rootworm in...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 23, 2019 6:53 PM

Today for the first time this summer, I started to notice a few thistle caterpillars that didn’t look quite right. Some were very dark, some look deflated and some were kind of “slimy” in appearance. This happens to insects occasionally as a result of infection of an entomopathogen. That’s just...

Crop Production
July 23, 2019 3:34 PM

As July comes to a close, it is time to make plans to seed fall cover crops. Cover crop species, seeding method, seeding rate, and timing will all depend on the goals for that cover crop. In broad terms there are three methods: 1) overseeding, 2) drill seeding, and 3) broadcast seeding with...

Crop Production
July 23, 2019 9:37 AM

This past week brought some much needed rainfall to areas across the state, which helped the crops through the hot temperatures. The pest of the week across the state seems to be thistle caterpillars causing defoliation in soybeans...

Crop Production
July 22, 2019 9:05 AM

Corn is starting to tassel and beans are flowering so no wonder everyone is asking about fungicides.  We’ve tried to address some of the questions regarding whether to spray or not in this...

Pesticide Education, Plant Diseases
July 17, 2019 3:01 PM

Check out what ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists have been seeing and hearing about in fields across the state this past week. Some of the common issues observed in fields include insect defoliation in soybeans by pests like thistle caterpillars and Japanese beetles, weed management...

Crop Production
July 17, 2019 2:15 PM

A new article recently released through the Crop Protection Network (CPN) discusses how to make fungicide decisions in corn and soybean, given the delayed planting scenarios across...

Plant Diseases
July 17, 2019 7:49 AM

Question: If the state and county are so concerned about wild parsnip, why aren’t they out spraying it? The ditches and county roads are full of it.1


July 17, 2019 6:29 AM

Contestants at the 2018 State Fair Weed Identification Contest

The annual ISU Extension &...

July 16, 2019 7:16 AM

picture of apron, gloves, protective eyewearWhen selecting a pesticide, make sure you read the label to ensure that you have the Personal Protective...

Pesticide Education
July 15, 2019 4:25 PM

The weather forecast for this next week is calling for daytime high temperatures in the 90s and even in the 100s across the state and low nighttime temperatures in the 70s to 80s with little chances of rainfall. This is raising concerns on what impact this can have on the crop, especially with...

Crop Production
July 15, 2019 12:38 PM

As the pesticide application season progresses remember to check the FieldWatch® online registry before making pesticide applications. To be in compliance with the Iowa Bee Rule commercial applicators will need to check the registry for any registered bee...

Pesticide Education
July 15, 2019 10:30 AM

A new Iowa Private Pesticide Applicator Manual (CS 1) is available for individuals planning to take the private pesticide applicator exam to become certified or renew their certification as a private pesticide applicator in Iowa....

Pesticide Education
July 15, 2019 7:41 AM

The Disposal module within the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship website was recently revised and expanded. The new version, available at, has additional content on disposal options for excess...

Pesticide Education
July 12, 2019 4:06 PM

My lab has been collecting adult and larval soybean gall midge for a few weeks. We used emergence cages in several habitats to collect adults. This year, they were only collected from 2018 soybean fields in Iowa. Two of my trapping locations have identified second-generation adult captures this...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 12, 2019 7:57 AM

After visiting several ISU Research and Demonstration Farms this week, it was evident the abundance and diversity of caterpillars in soybean is ongoing. These species represented several insect families. We easily found 8 species while looking at and sweeping early-reproductive soybean. Of...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 9, 2019 1:44 PM

Unfavorable planting conditions this spring commonly delayed, and in some cases, prevented crop planting. Producers looking to plant a cover crop to meet the requirements of their insurance coverage must work with their insurer on the details of the policy, and also be mindful of the legal...

Crop Production