AU: 'Crazy' plant pathologist gets down(y) with disease

He does not wear bling, a fur coat, or baggy jeans, but plant pathologist Peter Magarey knows how to write rap. His song 'The Downy Mildew Rap' is still remembered by many South Australian grape growers despite being written more than 20 years ago.


With the state facing outbreaks of the sometimes devastating downy mildew, the song has never been more relevant. Downy mildew is a fungal disease usually triggered by a combination of rainfall and certain temperatures. Mr Magarey co-authored the rap with his "crazy cousin".

"He probably thinks I'm the same, he was a plant pathologist over in Mildura working for the Department of Ag," he said. "We were concerned about trying to educate the public about the conditions required for downy mildew to occur. So we sat down and nutted out a song," Mr Magarey said.

Snowy River
Not content to rest on their laurels, the duo wrote subsequent songs about a range of diseases, including powdery mildew and black spot. They have also written a poem about downy mildew in the style of The Man From Snowy River. "We're just using different methods to communicate stories and summaries about diseases and pests," Mr Magarey said.

Source: ABC Rural

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