University of Arkansas hires native son as new Extension entomologist

rice water weevil

Finding new control methods for rice water weevil is one of Dr. Nick Bateman’s goals—photo courtesy Mississippi State University

Rice growers in Arkansas just got a little more help in their battle against insect pests when the University of Arkansas hired Dr. Nick Bateman as the new Extension rice entomologist.

Bateman — an Arkansas native — is no stranger to rice, having received his doctor’s degree from Mississippi State University with a specialty in row crop entomology. He studied under Angus Catchot, MSU Extension entomologist, and Jeff Gore, MSU assistant research professor.

Bateman received his bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science from the University of Arkansas in Monticello.

He will be based at the Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart.

“We’re thrilled to have someone of Dr. Bateman’s training and stature join us,” Nathan McKinney, the interim director of the Rice Research and Extension Center, said in a news release.

Bateman’s focus at RREC will be on rice insect control and management, but he will also support other area crops.

He said the most challenging part of his job will be learning management strategies for Arkansas, which differ from the ones he used in Mississippi.

Among his goals will be to find new management practices for rice water weevil as well as resistance-management options for insecticides.