Essential oils from the aromatic plants, such as thyme, oregano, cinnamon, clove, and savory, were used to effectively control several common seed and soil pathogens in the laboratory, and could be used as seed treatments in corn. Results from field experiments showed some oils protected the seeds from pathogens but not others. Before these natural products can be widely adopted, however, issues of volatility of the oils at ambient temperature and appropriate application rate must be addressed.
What are the options for organic farmers who are interested in organic seed treatments?
This work shows that while the essential oils of thyme, oregano, cinnamon, clove, and savory don't harm seeds and effectively control three pathogens in the lab, it is still not proven that they would be effective in the field.
Kathleen Delate, Linda Pollak, Kendall Lamkey,
Year of Grant Completion
Goggi, A. Susana; Delate, Kathleen; Pollak, Linda M.; and Lamkey, Kendall R., "Integration of natural seed treatments in organic and open-pollinated corn systems" (2008). Leopold Center Completed Grant Reports. 295.