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
July 9, 2019 9:33 AM

Soybean gall midge larvae, Japanese beetles, foliar diseases in corn, and weed management issues were some of the more common issues ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists came across in fields this past week. Read on for more information about what’s happening in specific regions across...

Crop Production
July 2, 2019 9:45 PM

The past week finally brought some heat but it also brought some storms across the state leaving areas seeing wind damage and/or hail damage. In addition to some of the storm damage, thistle caterpillars, Japanese beetles, and weed management issues seemed to be some of the main concerns across...

Crop Production
July 2, 2019 9:56 AM

Iowa and Midwest agriculture has started to change in recent years. One visible change is the interest to grow crops for biofuel and bioproducts (referred to as “energy crops”). Fossil fuel usage contributes to the growing problem with greenhouse gases. Alternative energy options from plant...

Crop Production
June 25, 2019 10:10 PM

Last week the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) changed the rules for when farmers who planted cover crops on prevented plant acres will be permitted to hay, graze, or chop those fields....

Crop Production
June 25, 2019 9:50 AM

The wet weather, weed management challenges in corn and soybeans, and thistle caterpillars in soybeans continue to be common issues that Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agronomists are hearing about and seeing in fields across the state. Read on for more information about what...

Crop Production
June 23, 2019 5:44 AM

In 2018, tar spot was detected in 12 counties in eastern Iowa. The disease was observed late in the growing season, at did not cause a lot of damage. In Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana, however,...

Plant Diseases
June 21, 2019 12:06 PM

Wild parsnip is a biennial that was introduced to North America by the earliest European colonists, it is documented to have been grown in Virginia as early as 1609 as a food crop. In his 1913 book The Weed Flora of Iowa, L. H. Pammel described wild parsnip as ‘common on roadsides in...

June 21, 2019 9:25 AM

I was a speaker at the ISU Northern Research Farm field day near Kanawha yesterday. So many questions about thistle caterpillar and soybean gall midge. I also saw some feeding injury to vegetative corn. Here are some pictures:


Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 19, 2019 4:04 PM

For those of you that are in need of some extra Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Continuing Education Units (CEUs), you can earn up to 9.5 total CEUs simply by visiting the Crop Protection Network (CPN), and testing your knowledge of various pest management topics, such as plant diseases and...

Crop Production, Pesticide Education, Plant Diseases
June 19, 2019 2:25 PM

Staging crops is an underappreciated but incredibly important skill. One very important reason to know how to stage your crops is because herbicide products may have limits on what growth stages of the crop they can be applied. This ICM Blog will discuss staging corn and soybean as well as share...

Crop Production
June 19, 2019 10:50 AM

The Forecast and Assessment of Cropping sysTemS (FACTS) webpage has been updated to include regional scale forecasts. These regional scale forecast cover the three I-states providing weather, soil water, and soil N mineralization information....

Crop Production
June 19, 2019 10:23 AM

The Forecast and Assessment of Cropping sysTemS (FACTS) project was first launched in 2015 to provide yield and soil nitrogen predictions at individual fields. In addition to the field scale forecasts, in 2019 we added a regional scale component...

Crop Production
June 18, 2019 2:57 PM

With planting (and replanting) starting to wind down, farmers are turning their attention to post herbicide applications, sidedressing, and putting up hay. Weed management challenges and thistle caterpillars in soybeans have been some of the big issues across the state this past week. Check out...

Crop Production
June 18, 2019 12:55 PM

Summer has arrived, and temperatures are heating up. Agricultural and natural resource workers endure long days spent outdoors or running field days. Summer outdoor activities are in full force for many including festivals, fairs, sports, farmer’s markets and much more! Time spent outside in the...

Crop Production
June 18, 2019 11:35 AM

This year I’ve had a few people ask for tips on scouting for common stalk borer. The larvae are moving from brome to corn throughout Iowa and it is a good time to scout for timely management....

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 17, 2019 12:23 PM

The most effective way to make treatments decisions for pests with chewing mouthparts (e.g., Japanese beetle, bean leaf beetle, caterpillars, and grasshoppers) is to estimate defoliation. I’m a “lumper” and don’t try too hard to distinguish feeding by species. Replicated data over multiple...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 14, 2019 12:09 PM

Join the ISU Weed Science Program at the 2019 Herbicide Research and Demonstration Program Field Day on Thursday, June 27!


Weeds, Herbicide Resistance
June 14, 2019 9:42 AM

I’ve been hearing about and seeing a variety of caterpillars in seedling crops this week. In soybean, you notice thistle caterpillars feeding and making webbed cavities from the leaves. They can be easy to find in early-vegetative soybean but rarely build up to economic populations. Read more...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 14, 2019 9:28 AM

Miscanthus has to be harvested all at once and must be stored for later use every season.  Standing miscanthus fields are harvested with a forage chopper or self-propelled mower conditioner (as previously discussed in our...

Crop Production
June 11, 2019 9:46 AM

Mother Nature was more cooperative this past week, allowing planting and other field activities like cutting and putting up hay, sidedressing, and herbicide applications to occur. According to the ...

Crop Production
June 6, 2019 10:14 PM

You are invited to attend the upcoming field days that will be hosted at the outlying Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms this summer. These field days will feature the latest information on crop production and crop management practices. Below is a list of the upcoming field...

Crop Production
June 6, 2019 9:57 AM

This #Plant19 season has been a tough and complicated one, filled with difficult deadlines, unconventional practices and budget constraints. And while it might be seem easier to just give up, it's seasons like these that teach us important lessons about farming, and give us the opportunity to...

Crop Production
June 6, 2019 8:09 AM

Moth trapping began April 1 and came to an end May 31. This year, we had more than 45 trap locations and 42 cooperators across the state. These cooperators provide us data on black cutworm (BCW) and true armyworm (TAW) moth captures at their locations, which we use to...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 5, 2019 4:25 PM

#plant19 has been a year to remember, and not necessarily in a good way. A couple of days ago we talked about anthracnose leaf blight on corn. Although we...

Plant Diseases
June 5, 2019 8:42 AM

Corn planting has been start and stop, and generally delayed this spring. In some situations the decision was made to plant and not apply nitrogen, or planting progressed so quickly that UAN (urea-ammonium nitrate solution) and herbicide applications couldn’t keep up with the planters, and now...