AnswerLine staff members are home economists so some of the questions we get are outside of our area of expertise. We are lucky to have several other hotlines available that we can share with callers to get those questions answered.
The horticulture line 515-294-3108 is available for callers from 10-12 and 1-4:30 Monday through Friday. Richard Jauron will answer questions for callers throughout the state of Iowa. Hortline began in 1983. It was initially a toll-free number. Because of demand, a second person was hired to answer hortline calls in 1991. Unable to keep up with demand and after considering several options, the hortline number was moved from an 800 number to a standard (515) direct dial number in 1997. A single person has answered hortline calls since 1997.
In Minnesota, callers may call the Yard and Garden line at 612-301-7590. These callers will be instructed to leave a message and will receive a return call with an answer.
In South Dakota, the iGrow.org website allows consumers to ask questions on-line or callers can phone us at AnswerLine with the question and we will submit the email for them. Consumers will receive a call with an answer if they do not choose to use email.
We also have a Plant and Insect identification lab. You can reach them by phone or email. They can help identify plants or insects you find in your home or yard. They also have some great articles and pictures to help you solve problems or identify insects.
The Iowa Concern line is another hotline that you can call at 800-447-1985. They can help with legal issues, financial questions and family transitions. They began in 1985 and were called Rural Concern as they assisted the agricultural community during that farm crisis. During the floods of 1993 the name was then changed to Iowa Concern as the program began assisting in urban areas as well.
If Iowans call us with entomology questions, we will likely transfer you to the Entomology department at Iowa State University. Dr. Donald Lewis is often the specialist you will speak with and he will be able to assist you.
We are really fortunate to have so much expertise and experience readily available to answer your questions.