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 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
April 11, 2022 12:30 PM

Soil temperature is one of the most important factors to guide planting decisions. The rule of thumb is to wait until the upper 4 inches reach at least 50 degrees, with a warming temperature trend in the forecast. One way to track soil temperatures across Iowa is by using the...

Crop Production
April 8, 2022 10:35 PM

With a warm-up in the forecast, spring fieldwork like cover crop termination will begin when fields are fit. While some farmers may opt to use mechanical methods of cover crop termination like tillage or roller-crimping, chemical termination is the most common and often most effective way to...

Crop Production, Weeds
April 7, 2022 3:08 PM

The 2022 moth trapping season is underway, and most of our volunteers placed traps the week of March 27. Black cutworm (BCW) monitoring is a long-standing project in Iowa, and true armyworm (TAW) was added in 2017 (Photo 1). Both of these pests are migratory, making it difficult to predict where...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 5, 2022 2:17 PM

This is the final article in a 3-part series for private pesticide applicators.  Part 1 focused on remaining continuing instruction courses to maintain...

Pesticide Education
April 4, 2022 2:27 PM

Determining the appropriate glyphosate rate is probably more important this spring than in previous years. Between high herbicide prices, reduced supply, and possibly using a different glyphosate product, it is worth checking to make sure you’re applying the optimum rate for efficient control....

Pesticide Education, Weeds
March 31, 2022 2:11 PM

2022 offerings of Agronomy in the Field

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

Crop Production
March 28, 2022 11:06 AM

Spring planting
Performing pre-season maintenance on your spring...

Equipment and Machinery
March 25, 2022 12:33 PM

Why do we need your input?

An unprecedented amount of data is being collected on soybean fields thanks to advances in sensing technologies and cost-efficient computing, yet these data

are rarely used to their full potential. Extension is uniquely positioned to...

Crop Production
March 25, 2022 8:33 AM

This is part 2 of a three-part series of reminders for private pesticide applicators. Part 1 discussed remaining continuing education course opportunities...

Pesticide Education
March 23, 2022 3:04 PM

On March 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the label amendments that further restrict the use of over-the-top dicamba in Iowa and Minnesota. These changes came after the reports of high numbers of off-target dicamba injury incidents in Iowa and Minnesota in 2021. During...

March 22, 2022 4:35 PM

Iowa private pesticide applicators are required to be certified to apply pesticides if they are using restricted-use pesticides.  Initially, to get certified, applicators need to take and pass an exam. Then, to maintain their certification, applicators can either attend a 2-hour continuing...

Pesticide Education
March 18, 2022 12:56 PM

As the snow melts and planters are made ready for spring, it is also time to think about crop scouting. The Crop Protection Network has many resources for new crop scouts or summer interns. These resources can also provide a...

Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases, Weeds
March 18, 2022 11:49 AM

Small grains, like oats, seeded in the spring can be another forage source for livestock producers. While using small grains, like oats, as a forage source is not something new, there is very limited data available on...

Crop Production
March 7, 2022 6:02 PM

Shortage of key herbicides, glyphosate and glufosinate, in 2022 has emphasized the need to implement integrated weed management (IWM) strategies in corn and soybean. It is time to consider adding more tools in the weed control toolbox. In the previous blog post, we discussed alternative...

Weeds, Herbicide Resistance
March 6, 2022 4:48 PM

As emphasized during the Crop Advantage Series presentations and other ISU extension meetings across Iowa in January/February, two key herbicides, glyphosate and glufosinate, are in short supply to many of the corn and soybean producers. Therefore, the 2022 growing season is going to be...

Crop Production, Weeds
March 3, 2022 8:54 AM

Frost seeding is the easiest and least expensive method for adding new legumes to a pasture. And now is the perfect time to be doing frost seeding.

The goal of frost seeding is to seed while the soil is frozen (usually first then in the morning) and get the seed in contact with bare soil...

Crop Production
February 21, 2022 7:30 AM

Many across the US have set aside February 20-26 as Grain Bin Safety Week in order to grow awareness of the hazards associated with grain storage. Many of the ways to increase safety when...

Grain Handling and Storage
February 16, 2022 10:53 AM

One of the label requirements for the dicamba products labeled for over-the-top use in soybean (Xtendimax, Tavium, Engenia) is that applicators must complete a special dicamba training annually. If you need to complete this training, go to the ...

Pesticide Education