Field Crop Insects: increasing access to pest management information through an Extension and Outreach publication

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension
Iowa State University

Title of Success Story

Field Crop Insects: increasing access to pest management information through an Extension and Outreach publication

Public Value (now or future)
(Impact:  Who benefits beyond participants and how?  What conditions changed?)

The potential exists for readers (farmers and agronomists) to save money and manage insects more effectively, leading to increased profitability; and for decreased risk of human and environmental exposure to unnecessary insecticide applications.

(Why is it important to address this issue with education?  What are the desired changes?)

This new publication (released January 2012-developed throughout 2011) replaces and expands three out-of-date entomology publications at Iowa State University. This compendium provides identification and management tools for common corn and soybean pests and will serve as the primary field crop insect management resource in Iowa. It is important for farmers and agronomists to understand field problems and what can be done to solve them.

(Outputs: activities, numbers reached, publications, products)

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Soybean Association worked collaboratively to produce a comprehensive publication on field crop insects for corn and soybean farmers and agribusiness.
The 74-page compendium is filled with many full color photographs of beneficial and harmful insects for which our target audience, farmers and agricultural professionals, can use to help identify insects in corn and soybean. Throughout the publication, we promote IPM (integrated pest management) tactics, such as scouting and economic thresholds, when available. For some insects, we direct readers to interactive tools or more detailed management information online.
In 2012-2013, this publication will be distributed to participants of the Integrated Crop Management Conference (1,000 attendees), Crop Advantage Series, and other established ISU Extension programs (e.g., Certified Crop Adviser Review Course, Crop Scout School, Field Clinics). Copies are also available to an estimated 7,000+ Pesticide Applicator Training participants during sessions in 2012. Pioneer Hi-Bred requested 20,000 copies for their use. In addition to this, Pioneer printed another 4,000 copies, a large portion of which were sent to approximately 230 secondary schools in Iowa.

RESULTS (Outcomes:  specific changes that occurred in Learning, Actions, Conditions; how outcomes were measured)

In the short term, readers of Field Crop Insects will better understand beneficial and harmful insects in corn and soybean. Ultimately, growers improve production and yield protection, and reduce risks associated with unnecessary insecticide applications, by making more well-informed treatment decisions.

Desired Changes

Learning (pest insect life cycle, scouting, and management), which leads to improved actions (better pest management, less insecticide application), potentially resulting in improved conditions (environmental and human benefits). Also, this publication will be used by high school instructors, increasing their knowledge of field crop insects for both the instructor and their students.

Extension Lead(s)
(name, position, counties served, contact information)

Erin Hodgson, Extension Entomologist;  Adam Sisson, IPM Specialist; Daren Mueller, IPM Program Director and Extension Plant Pathologist; Laura Jesse, Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Director and Diagnostician; Erika Saalau-Rojas, Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Diagnostician; and Audra Duster, IPM Specialist

Your Position

­­­­­_____Field                                        ___X__Campus                         _____Both

POW # and Team

 ­­­­­_X___100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection
­­­­­_____ 110 Dairy
­­­­­_____ 120 Farm and Business Management
­­­­­_____ 130 Horticulture: Commercial and Consumer
­­­­­_____ 140 Iowa Beef Center
­­­­­_____ 150 Iowa Pork Industry Center
­­­­­_____ 160 Natural Resources and Stewardship

ANR Priority (select all that apply)

­­­­­_____Global Food Security and Hunger
­­­­­_____Regional Food Systems
­­­­­__X__Natural Resources & Environmental Stewardship
­­­­­_____Food Safety
­­­­­_____Sustainable Energy – Biofuels & Biobased Products
­­­­­_____Climate Change

Knowledge Areas: (USDA categories)


Continuing Story

__X__ No                _____  Yes (If continuing, what story?)

Major Partners or Collaborators

Iowa Soybean Association, Pioneer Hi-Bred

Where story took place
(Region, campus, multi-regional)

Campus and local

Fiscal Year


Multi-state or Integrated (Ext + Research)


Funding Source




Page last updated: February 28, 2012
Page maintained by Julie Honeick,