Receive Instant Pest Alerts Directly to Your Cell Phone

Stay atop of pest issues with this text-based service

May 29, 2024, 11:43 am | Ashley Dean, Erin Hodgson, Chris Kick

AMES, Iowa – Crop farmers and others involved with crop production can receive instant updates on the latest insect pest issues in Iowa.

The Iowa Pest Alert Network provides short, timely updates via text messaging to farmers and crop consultants, agronomists and extension who advise farmers. This free, user-friendly service provides timely scouting information about pests in your area.

The website provides links to information about key pests in the Midwest, degree day mapping, regional updates and supplemental publications. There is also an archive listing of past pest alerts.

All a user needs is a cell phone number. Sign up by visiting the Pest Alert Network website, at https://pestalerts.extension.iastate.edu.

Farmer looking at a cell phone in a field of corn, by velimir/stock.adobe.com“A needs assessment published by the North Central Soybean Research Program in 2021 determined that farmers and the industry are really interested in receiving real-time alerts about pests,” said Ashley Dean, extension specialist in entomology with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Farmers and the people who advise them are often out in the fields during the day, so text messages might be more efficient than emails.”

The user can customize the service to receive specific pest alerts based on specific pests, or per region of Iowa.

“These short bursts of information are meant to reach people wherever they are, and they can use links in the alerts to access relevant scouting information,” said Erin Hodgson, professor and extension entomologist at Iowa State.

Recent pest alerts cover topics such as scouting for bean leaf beetle, black cutworm in emerged corn, as well as alfalfa weevil.

The service was created in 2022 and is free to subscribe with a mobile phone number.

For more information, Ashley Dean can be reached at 515-447-3766 or adean@iastate.edu; Erin Hodgson is available at ewh@iastate.edu.

Photo Credit: Farmer looking at a cell phone in a field of corn, by velimir/stock.adobe.com

Category: 
About the Authors: