Discovering Insects in Agronomy in the Field Class
Insects. Bugs. Pests. Creepy-crawlies. We all have “pet” names for these (mostly) tiny friends, but most of us don’t take the time to learn about these creatures that live around us. Fortunately for the August 1 Agronomy in the Field for Women class held at the Field Extension Education Lab (FEEL) near Boone, Iowa, participants were able to learn from someone who makes it her business to understand insects.
Meet Dr. Erin Hodgson, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Entomologist, Assistant Professor and Agriculture and Natural Resources Crops Team Leader.
Erin grew up in a small town in western North Dakota, and started learning more about insects while at North Dakota State University. ”I got interested in entomology during my undergrad degree with a general entomology class. I got to make an insect collection and learn about why insects are important,” she said. “I got my first introduction into economic entomology and how insects can impact agriculture.”
The economic impact harmful insects can have on crops was of great interest to the women attending Agronomy in the Field. They spent some classroom time getting a crash course covering a variety of insects that can damage crops.
The class then headed outside to the field laboratory to do a little scouting for some of those destructive insects. “Scouting and making timely treatment decisions is critical for crop protection,” Erin said. “A few insects can damage crops and we need to be proactive in pest management.”
Class participants took home some valuable tools to share on their farm operations. “I hope the women in the class got a better appreciation of insects all around us,” Erin said.