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Assess your disease and nematode management program this fall

In Southeast Farm Press

Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia Plant Pathologist

“What exactly is it you do?” I am asked time and again.  “I am a plant pathologist for the University of Georgia,” I say, which is met with a blank stare until I say, “That is like being a veterinarian for plants.”

In truth, “a veterinarian for plants” may not be the best description. Plant pathologists are less able to heal a single affected plant than they are to protect an entire crop.  I have begun to think of my vocation as more of a “zookeeper,” which is a better moniker for corralling and containing a host of wild beasts like fungi, bacteria, nematodes and viruses.  When these beasts escape, for they are truly cunning, it is my job to work with farmers, Extension agents, consultants, researchers and agricultural industry to put them back in their cages as quickly as possible. Continue reading