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
June 5, 2019 8:10 AM

With some planting progress still stalled, many of you are probably finding ways to pass the time, possibly scrolling through Twitter. Adding to some of the anxiety, you’re probably seeing photos of diseased seedling corn, by the name of Anthracnose leaf blight. While last week’s...

Plant Diseases
June 4, 2019 10:10 AM

Mother Nature has not been a friend to farmers this spring, making the 2019 planting season a challenging one to say the least. According to the June 3, 2019...

Crop Production
May 28, 2019 12:11 PM

Summer trip?! Undergraduate students commonly take trips during the summer that consists of hiking in the mountains, relaxing on the beaches, or experiencing a new culture in a foreign country. However, one group of students from Furman University in Greenville, SC broke the mold and chose...

Crop Production
May 28, 2019 8:52 AM

“I don’t have 50 years of experience. I have one year of experience 50 times” – farmer

Crop Production
May 23, 2019 3:14 PM

Everyone is talking about the cool, wet spring this year. It's definitely slowed down my research projects, too. Thanks to the help of the Tylka Lab, we have about half our soybean plots in the ground. I am working on soybean aphid efficacy evaluations at the NWRF near Sutherland. I am starting...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 20, 2019 10:15 PM

Farmers across the state took advantage of the little dry spell that occurred last week. Approximately 70% of the expected corn crop and 27% of the soybean crop in Iowa has been planted according to the May 20...

Crop Production
May 20, 2019 10:00 AM

We have always told extension clients and students that the best tool for identifying an unknown weed is a good book, other than finding somebody who already knows what the weed is.  We never thought much of the early weed ID apps that were developed for mobile devices.  In AGRON 217 (Weed...

May 14, 2019 2:52 PM

“Rain, rain, go away come again another day.” This nursery rhyme seems to be an appropriate theme song for how the weather has been this spring. The wet weather has been a major challenge for getting any fieldwork completed across the state. According to the most recent...

Crop Production
May 13, 2019 4:21 PM

This week we begin Week 7 of moth trapping in Iowa. Significant captures of black cutworm (BCW) have occurred in several counties during weeks 3-6 of trapping (bold and * in Table 1). Significant captures occur when 8 or more BCW moths are caught in a wing-style pheromone trap over 2 nights....

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 10, 2019 9:07 AM

As everything greens up, we often receive photos of mystery plants for identification.  Typically, I get a wide range of species via email or text message.  This spring, more than any I can recall in recent history, I’ve received many photos of the same species:  purslane speedwell (Veronica...

May 9, 2019 7:24 AM

According to a recent State Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act Issues Research and Evaluation Group (...

Pesticide Education
May 3, 2019 8:50 AM

Have you been driving in rural eastern Iowa lately? You might have noticed those choppers and wagons a few weeks ago harvesting miscanthus fields, but what have you seen most recently? Planters! You might have noticed that they don’t look like the grain planters most of us are used to seeing....

Crop Production
May 1, 2019 4:38 PM

The calendar may now say we are in the month of May, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way with the weather and with planting progress across Iowa.

Soil temp. Ideally we want soil temps at the 4” depth to be 50oF or warmer prior to planting corn. While we did...

Crop Production
May 1, 2019 11:41 AM

This summer, I am starting a couple of new research projects looking at cover crop pest activity that might be relevant to corn production. Shout out to Alison Robertson and Mark Licht for including me on these massive research projects! The usual cover crop pest suspects are migratory moths,...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 29, 2019 3:54 PM

Last week planters made progress across portions of Iowa. Rains this weekend and the forecast for the coming week indicate planting will be at a standstill this week. In light of the weekend weather, soil temperatures quickly fell below 50oF. What does this mean for corn and soybean...

Crop Production
April 29, 2019 3:43 PM

Like #Plant18, #Plant19 seems to be off to a slow start. Approximately 21% of the expected corn crop and 3% of the soybean crop in Iowa has been planted according to the...

Crop Production
April 29, 2019 1:04 PM

Now that we’re within the time frames for planting to achieve optimal yields for corn and soybean, producers might be getting antsy with the cold, damp weather, and weighing the risks of a potential cold front that can cause damage to germinating seeds or seedlings.

For those that have...

Crop Production, Plant Diseases
April 23, 2019 2:27 PM

Corn planting progress began over the last several days, especially in the central and southern tiers of Iowa. That is good news, unfortunately, in north central and northwest Iowa field conditions remain wet putting farmers in those areas further behind and with Monday’s rain will not be making...

Crop Production
April 22, 2019 2:07 PM

If you have been driving in rural eastern Iowa and noticed a lot of choppers and wagons, you might have been seeing the UI Biomass Fuel Project Miscanthus harvest.

Crop Production
April 19, 2019 5:00 PM

Each year, Iowa State University’s IPM team monitors field crop pests to help inform farmers and scouting personnel about pest activity in Iowa. This year, our moth trapping network includes black cutworm (BCW) and true armyworm (TAW), two migratory pests of crops in Iowa that are unpredictable...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 16, 2019 11:30 AM

Today, we will take a quick trip around the world to explore how other cultures have used miscanthus. East Asian cultures incorporated miscanthus into their everyday lives: paintings, toys, household items, rituals, and in some cases medicinal uses.

Crop Production
April 15, 2019 7:59 AM

Under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) as revised in 2015, there are specific requirements for handlers when pesticide labels require the use of a respirator. Handlers are employees, owners, and family members who apply, load, unload, rinse pesticide application equipment or do other tasks...

Pesticide Education
April 12, 2019 9:21 AM

The Crop Protection Network (CPN) has published its 2019 fungicide efficacy tables for corn and soybean foliar diseases and soybean seedling diseases. These three publications can be found at the CPN website, under resources...

Plant Diseases
April 12, 2019 9:03 AM

University of Missouri's Kevin Bradley and Mandy Bish recently shared a tailored list on several principles that have been researched and verified regarding dicamba usage ahead of #Plant2019. 

Bradley and Bish's list includes five principles to remember when communicating with producers...

April 9, 2019 9:16 PM

March more or less came in and went out like a lion. The below normal temperature trend we experienced in February continued through March, averaging 5.2 F below normal. Western and southern Iowa experienced wetter than average conditions in March while the rest of the state experienced below...

Crop Production