Arkansas native returns home to join RREC as entomologist
By Meleah Perez
U of A System Division of Agriculture
July 31, 2017
- MSU doctoral graduate joins RREC
- His focus is on entomology in rice
- Goal is to help the state he grew up in
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STUTTGART, Ark. — Arkansas’ crop farmers just got a little more help in their annual struggles against hungry insects.
Nick Bateman joins the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture as an assistant professor and extension entomologist based at the Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart. While he’ll work all field crops, he will focus on pests affecting rice – an important role in a state that leads the nation in rice production.
Bateman returns to Arkansas with a doctorate in agriculture and life sciences with a concentration in entomology from Mississippi State University, isn’t new to insect habits. Bateman earned his bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He studied with Scott Akin, a former extension entomologist at the Southeast Research and Extension Center. During his time earning is doctorate degree in Mississippi, Bateman studied under Angus Catchot, extension entomologist and Jeff Gore, assistant research professor at MSU, with a specialty in row crop entomology.
“We’re thrilled to have someone of Dr. Bateman’s training and stature join us,” said Nathan McKinney, the interim director of the Rice Research and Extension Center.
Bateman’s focus at RREC will be on rice insect control and management, but he will also serve in support of other crops of interest in the area, McKinney said.
Bateman said some of the most rewarding experiences he’s had on the job are the field calls he completes with Gus Lorenz, the associate entomology department head and extension entomologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
“The appreciation the consultants and growers have is very gratifying to see,” Bateman said. “The work and time that’s put into it is rewarded.”
He said the most challenging part of his job is learning management strategies for Arkansas, which differ from the ones he used in Mississippi. Bateman also said the mild winter has led to an increase in insect issues, making for a busy spring and summer.
Bateman will be looking at new management practices for rice water weevil as well as resistance-management options for insecticides, Bateman said.
As an Arkansas native who grew up outside of Pine Bluff, Bateman said he wanted to return to his home state after completing his education.
“Really, I just want to be able help the growers of Arkansas. I want to do my part in helping them be more profitable and make farming more sustainable for them,” Bateman said.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service