Erin Hodgson

Dr. Erin Hodgson started working in the Department of Entomology 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
August 24, 2022 8:19 AM

Several labs in the Midwest have been monitoring the distribution of soybean gall midge in Iowa since 2018. Last year, we sampled many counties in western Iowa but only confirmed three new counties. This year, we focused on the counties just east of the distribution in 2021 and were able to...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 11, 2022 9:16 AM

Twospotted spider mites have been noted in fields across much of Iowa already this summer, as much of Iowa is in abnormal or extreme drought (D0-D3, US Drought Monitor). Scouting for spider mites in field crops...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 22, 2022 12:44 PM

Western and northern corn rootworms are serious pests of corn throughout the Corn Belt (Photo 1). We recommend that farmers scout every cornfield every year, regardless of the management tactic(s) used, to evaluate management decisions and prepare for next year. It is a good idea to scout for...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 18, 2022 7:52 AM

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
July 12, 2022 2:24 PM

Western and northern corn rootworm are serious pests of corn throughout the Corn Belt. We recommend that farmers scout every cornfield every year, regardless of the management tactic(s) used, to evaluate management decisions and prepare for next year. It is a good idea to scout for larvae early...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 17, 2022 11:09 AM

Today, while scouting for bean leaf beetle south of Ames, my lab found a few early vegetative plants with soybean aphid. Actually, it was Ashley Dean who found them. It was the ants moving on plants that caught her eye. Taking a closer look revealed a few small aphid colonies feeding on the...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 15, 2022 12:12 PM

While in westcentral Iowa yesterday setting up some small plot experiments, I got distracted by a long stretch of grass alongside a cornfield. I noticed some “deadheads” among the green plants and decided to dig a little deeper.

...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 9, 2022 9:37 AM

Last year, entomologists and field specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach received many questions about effective management of corn rootworms as populations have increased in the past two years and farmers have experienced enhanced root injury during drought conditions....

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 31, 2022 12:57 PM

Recent surveying suggests that farmers and their advisors are interested in receiving short bursts of information via text messaging. We formed the Iowa Pest Alert Network with the goal of providing short, timely insect pest updates to farmers and advisors through text messages. These updates...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
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 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
February 11, 2022 9:28 AM

Iowa State University’s IPM Team has monitored field crop pests for a long time. The pests have changed over the years, but the goal is the same: to help inform farmers about pest activity in Iowa. Our moth trapping efforts target migratory moths. Black cutworm monitoring is a long-standing...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
January 27, 2022 9:47 AM

In 2021, we initiated the first year of the regional corn rootworm monitoring network with the Corn Rootworm IPM working group. This working group was formed to address regional concerns as corn rootworm populations continue to overcome Bt corn hybrids and become more challenging to manage. The...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
January 26, 2022 6:54 PM

Since its discovery as a new species in 2019, soybean gall midge continues to be found in new counties across five states in the Midwest. For some farmers, the presence of soybean gall midge had a significant impact on soybean yield. The persistence of this new pest in existing areas and its...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
October 28, 2021 12:41 PM

Following up on Meaghan’s blog post on October 5 about sap beetles in corn grain, I received a few more questions about infested bins. There are MANY insects that cause losses in stored grain and food...

Crop Production, Grain Handling and Storage, Insects and Mites
September 16, 2021 7:52 AM

I got invited to SERF (ISU Southeastern Research Farm) field day last week to highlight corn rootworm management. I was easily distracted when it wasn't my stop and started walking around soybean plots looking for insects. [this is a common occurrence with entomologists!] Soybean was in...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 19, 2021 7:56 AM

My lab has been driving all over western Iowa looking for soybean gall midge. They stop by 3-6 fields in each county and scout for larvae along field edges. This is part of a larger effort funded by the North Central Soybean Research Program to better understand the current distribution of this...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 21, 2021 7:09 AM

Last week, a team of us met up at the Iowa State University Southeast Research Farm (SERF) to evaluate root injury in a small trial for corn rootworm management. The trial had four treatments replicated eight times. The treatments included no management (glyphosate-tolerant only; no Bt traits or...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 14, 2021 2:49 PM

Soybean gall midge detections continue in western Iowa. As of this week, there are ten counties with infested soybean fields. These counties were previously infested with larvae. In some fields where we monitor activity a bit closer, we noticed first-generation adults were produced. These adults...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 29, 2021 7:25 AM

I’ve had a lot of questions about soybean gall midge over the winter and in the last few weeks. Most fields have plants with 4-7 trifoliates and I’ve even seen some flowers! If you are connected with the Soybean Gall Midge Alert Network, you know...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 18, 2021 4:42 PM

Today, our lab crew went to the Johnson Farm south of Ames, Iowa to evaluate a bean leaf beetle study. To our surprise, we found many V4-V6 plants with established soybean aphid colonies (Photo 1). It is not uncommon to find sporadic soybean aphids in June, but it is surprising to find a colony...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 14, 2021 2:25 PM

Over the last 5 days, I’ve been asked numerous times about a small butterfly roaming the gravel roads and wooded areas around Iowa. It’s a fast, skittish insect and tracking down a good photo has been really tough. They are described by entomologists as mercurial, or subject to sudden and...

Insects and Mites
June 10, 2021 1:56 PM

For the second year in a row, we’ve been hearing multiple reports of fields with high grub activity in central Iowa, particularly between Ames and Ankeny. Typically, people were called out to the field for other reasons but found grubs once they started digging. In fact, a field I visited last...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 10, 2021 1:36 PM

Most people are already finished with their first cutting of alfalfa throughout Iowa, but each of our 10 field agronomists reports that alfalfa weevil activity continues and has been much...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites

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