Latest News on Rural Agricultural: October 2021

Streamwater phosphorus and nitrogen across a gradient in rural–agricultural land use intensity

This paper provides an overview of the impacts of rural land use on lowland streamwater phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) concentrations and P loads and sources in lowland streams. Based on weekly water quality monitoring, the impacts of agriculture on streamwater P and N hydrochemistry were examined along a gradient of rural–agricultural land use, by monitoring three sets of ‘paired’ (near-adjacent) rural headwater streams, draining catchments which are representative of the major geology, soil types and rural/agricultural land use types of large areas of lowland Britain. The magnitude and timing of P and N inputs were assessed and the load apportionment model (LAM) was applied to quantify ‘continuous’ (point) source and ‘flow-dependent’ (diffuse) source contributions of P to these headwater streams. The results show that intensive arable farming had only a comparatively small impact on streamwater total phosphorus (TP loads), with highly consistent stream diffuse-source TP yields of ca. 0.5 kg-P ha−1 year−1 for the predominantly arable catchments with both clay and loam soils, compared with 0.4 kg-P ha−1 year−1 for low agricultural intensity grassland/woodland on similar soil types. In contrast, intensive livestock farming on heavy clay soils resulted in dramatically higher stream diffuse-source TP yields of 2 kg-P ha−1 year−1. The streamwater hydrochemistry of the livestock-dominated catchment was characterised by high concentrations of organic P, C and N fractions, associated with manure and slurry sources. Across the study sites, the impacts of human settlement were clearly identifiable with effluent inputs from septic tanks and sewage treatment works resulting in large-scale increases in soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) loads and concentrations. At sites heavily impacted by rural settlements, SRP concentrations under baseflow conditions reached several hundred μg-P L−1. Load apportionment modelling demonstrated significant ‘point-source’ P inputs to the streams even where there were no sewage treatment works within the upstream catchment. This indicates that, even in sparsely populated rural headwater catchments, small settlements and even isolated groups of houses are sufficient to cause significant nutrient pollution and that septic tank systems serving these rural communities are actually operating as multiple point sources, rather than a diffuse input. [1]

Circular Biogas-Based Economy in a Rural Agricultural Setting

This study investigates the application of a circular economy in a rural agricultural setting in Northern Ireland, centered around a typical anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, showing its potential to provide renewable energy for the electricity and transport fuel needs of an average dairy farm and associated milk processing facilities. It was calculated that a typical AD plant has the potential to fuel 22 average sized dairy farms in Northern Ireland, equating to the production, transport, and processing of 51,986 litres of milk per day. The feedstock needs of the AD plant can be provided by the local farming community.[2]


Seasonal Variation in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in a Rural Agricultural Community


Seasonal variation in fruit and vegetable consumption has been documented in a limited number of previous investigations and is important for the design of epidemiologic investigations and in the evaluation of intervention programs.


This study investigates fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors among Hispanic farmworkers and non-farmworkers in a rural agricultural community.


A larger study recruited 101 farmworker families and 100 non-farmworker families from the Yakima Valley in Washington State between December 2004 and October 2005. All families were Hispanic. An in-person administered questionnaire collected information on consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables and sources of obtaining fruits and vegetables. Data on dietary intake asked whether or not the respondent had consumed a given fruit or vegetable in the past month. Data were collected longitudinally, coinciding with three agricultural seasons: thinning (summer), harvest (fall), and nonspray (winter).

Statistical analyses performed

Generalized estimating equations were used to test for statistical significance between proportions of the population who consumed a given fruit or vegetable across agricultural seasons. Multivariable logistic regression was performed and corresponding odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals are reported.


The proportion of respondents who ate apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, peppers, corn, and cucumbers was highest in the fall harvest season, whereas the proportions of those who ate cherries and asparagus were highest in the summer thinning season. Compared to non-farmworkers, a higher proportion of farmworkers reported having eaten peaches, apricots, cherries, green beans, carrots, peppers, corn, pumpkin, squash, and onions, in the past month.


Epidemiologic investigations and public health interventions that examine the consumption of fruits and vegetables should consider seasonal variation in consumption patterns, especially in agricultural communities. .  [3]

Role of Farm-Radio Agricultural Programmes in Disseminating Agricultural Technology to Rural Famers for Agricultural Development in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria

The study was carried out to examine the role of radio agricultural programmes on awareness creation among farmers in the study area. The study districts were purposively selected for their known potentiality of agricultural production and a convenient sampling was employed to get a total of ninety farmers for the study, a structured questionnaire was used as an instrument for data collection. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data obtained. The finding of the research reveals that majorities (90%) of the farmers were males, within their active productive ages (31-42 years) and 50% of them had attained Islamic education. Most of the farmers obtained agricultural information through radio agricultural programmes (97.8%) out of which majority had access to information through the format of presentation or discussion by an expert and or the extension workers (77.8%). The finding also revealed that farmers adopted the information disseminated through radio, which was found to be highly relevant (32.2%) to the farmers’ agricultural activities. Farmers gained the knowledge of agricultural management practices (26.7%), prevention of post harvest losses (17.8%) and appropriate application of fertilizer (16.7%), and which was found to be very important and effective to majority (97.8%) of the farmer′s agricultural activities. The chi-square analysis depicts that there is significant relationship between the type of radio agricultural programmes aired and the knowledge gained by the farmers (X2=94.2, P< 0.03). It is recommended that there is need for improvement on agricultural information programmes to farmers through radio and rural agricultural radio stations should be established in the villages to disseminate and to teach farmers improved agricultural practices.  [4]

Perception of Students and Teachers on Achievement of Rural Agricultural Work Experience Programme Objectives

The study was conducted in College of Agriculture (COA), Gandhi Krishi Vigyana Kendra, Bengaluru and College of Agriculture (COA), Vishveswaraiah Canal (V C) Farm, Mandya, in order to analyse the perception of students and teachers on Rural Agricultural Work Experience Programme (RAWEP) in 12 weeks village stay. In total 80 students and 30 teachers constituted sample size of the study. The ex-post facto research design was employed. Results revealed that 47.50 per cent of students and 46.67 per cent of teachers had a higher level of perception on the achievement of RAWEP objectives. Majority of both students and teachers have perceived that RAWEP objectives, helps the students to understand rural problems, rural institutions, and get familiar with rural life were fully achieved in 12 weeks village stay. Further, majority of both students and teachers also perceived that on-campus factors viz., orientation provided in the beginning and advance planning by teachers; off-campus factors viz., season during which village stay is conducted, teachers visits to villages, cooperation within students group and cooperation from farmers; General factors viz., students own interest in RAWEP, knowledge on subject matter and stipend provided to students were the highly influencing factors on the performance of RAWEP in 12 weeks village stay. RAWEP was helping the students to get more practical knowledge of rural life, crops and cropping season, the skills in identification of problems and providing solutions to the farmers. Therefore, proper planning, guidance, monitoring and evaluation of RAWEP work is very much necessary coupled with providing sufficient funds and a stipend to the students for achieving RAWEP objectives to a greater extent. [5]


[1] Locke, E., Coronado, G.D., Thompson, B. and Kuniyuki, A., 2009. Seasonal variation in fruit and vegetable consumption in a rural agricultural community. Journal of the American Dietetic Association109(1), pp.45-51.

[2] Blades, L., Morgan, K., Douglas, R., Glover, S., De Rosa, M., Cromie, T. and Smyth, B., 2017. Circular biogas-based economy in a rural agricultural setting. Energy Procedia123, pp.89-96.

[3] Jarvie, H.P., Withers, P.J.A., Bowes, M.J., Palmer-Felgate, E.J., Harper, D.M., Wasiak, K., Wasiak, P., Hodgkinson, R.A., Bates, A., Stoate, C. and Neal, M., 2010. Streamwater phosphorus and nitrogen across a gradient in rural–agricultural land use intensity. Agriculture, ecosystems & environment135(4), pp.238-252.

[4] Ango, A.K., Illo, A.I., Abdullahi, A.N., Maikasuwa, M.A. and Amina, A., 2013. Role of farm-radio agricultural programmes in disseminating agricultural technology to rural famers for agricultural development in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, pp.54-68.

[5] Shivaramu, K., Naika, K.V. and Suresh, D.K., 2018. Perception of Students and Teachers on Achievement of Rural Agricultural Work Experience Programme Objectives. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, pp.1-13.

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