Craig Canaday (in hat), a research plant pathologist with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, inspects snap beans during a harvest at the UT West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center near Jackson. Photo by G. Rowsey, courtesy UTIA.

AgResearch Article by  Ginger Rowsey

JACKSON, Tenn. — Craig Canaday, a researcher in the University of Tennessee Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center, has developed a supplemental seed-coating treatment that has been shown to increase yields in both soybeans and snap beans, as well as to prevent yield loss to seedling diseases.

According to the results of field tests completed at the center, the novel seed treatment supplements increased snap bean yields by more than 50 percent, while increasing soybean yields by more than 10 percent compared to the standard treatments.

“Snap beans are Tennessee’s top vegetable crop in terms of acreage, and soybeans are the top agronomic crop in terms of dollar value, so the impacts of this technology could be tremendous,” says Canaday. “These crops are also significant commodities in many states and in many countries around the world,” he adds.

The same studies also indicated a decrease in snap bean yield loss due to seedling diseases, as compared to standard seed treatments. Seedling diseases are one of the major disease problems faced by both snap bean and soybean growers.

“We’ve evaluated many products over the years to control diseases,” says Canaday. “Unfortunately some of the best are no longer available. But this idea appears to be very good.”

Canaday’s technology was introduced at the recent Spark! forum hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the UT Research Foundation (UTRF). This conference allows potential licensees to learn about some of UT’s and ORNL’s most promising technologies and capabilities.

According to UTRF, the benefits of Canaday’s seed coating supplement include potential to increase yield, potential to reduce yield loss due to seedling disease and high ease of application and integration.

The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and outreach through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.


Dr. Maha Krishnamurthy, The University of Tennessee Research Foundation,, 865-974-1882

Dr. Craig Canaday, research plant pathologist, UT Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology,, 731-425-4746

Ginger Rowsey, UTIA Marketing and Communications,, 731-425-4768