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Publication Helps Agricultural Producers Reduce Waterborne Microbes

November 29, 2012

Doctors E. Robert "Rob" Atwill and Xunde Li, along with Melissa Partyka, Ronny Bond, and Chengling Xiao at the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, and Betsy Karle, UC Cooperative Extension, have published a technical note in close collaboration with Luana Kiger, Glenn Carpenter and other scientists at the Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA.

This 84-page lay publication, "Introduction to Waterborne Pathogens in Agricultural Watersheds, Technical Note No. 9, September 2012," reviews the biology and medical ecology of waterborne pathogens in agricultural watersheds and discusses the many management practices that landowners, regulators, and agencies can use to mitigate these risks. The publication is included in the category of Ecological Sciences under the heading of Nutrient Management.

Atwill, who directs WIFSS, states that the report's final paragraph sums up the goal of this publication: "Our challenge is to continue to develop the number of practices that land managers, growers, farmers, and others can use to reduce the risk of waterborne microbial contamination and to support efforts to implement these practices on our agricultural watersheds. If we succeed in this challenge, we will better reap the many economic, nutritional, and cultural benefits generated by our nation's agricultural community while helping minimize the potential public and environmental health risks associated with waterborne pathogens."

The publication is available via the following link, http://directives.sc.egov.usda.gov/OpenNonWebContent.aspx?content=32935.wba 


The mission of the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) is to conduct research and provide outreach programs that will enhance food safety and defense in all sectors of the food system continuum from environment to consumer. The School of Veterinary Medicine is a founding partner of the organization.