ACDC News – Issue 18-10

How agricultural researchers are using social media data

A recent article in Agronomy Journal identified some applications and limitations of social media data for agricultural research and extension. Canadian researcher Samuel Zipper cited examples such as:

  • Using Twitter to map state-level corn and soy planting progress
  • Mapping emerging agricultural issues (e.g., weather, crops, pests)
  • Guiding Extension and Outreach directly to affected areas
  • Identifying factors that contribute to decisions about replanting
  • Tracking the evolution of farmer sentiment over time

You can read the article here.

On shifting focus of the Big Data Revolution for Development (D4D)

We have added to the ACDC collection a recent analysis that took a political economy perspective on the big data revolution for development. Researcher Laura Mann of the London School of Economics and Political Science reported her findings in the first 2018 issue of the journal, Development and Change.

This analysis led her to suggest moving away from the current focus on humanitarianism towards economic development, “considering the opportunities for African citizens to benefit from their data as a source of revenue, knowledge and power.”

You can read the article here.

New milestone for IFAJ

Congratulations to the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists for reaching a 50-member milestone. IFAJ guilds in eight new countries became members during the recent IFAJ Congress: Cameroon, Georgia, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, The Gambia, and the United Republic of Tanzania.

You can learn more about IFAJ and plans for further growth here.

Update about online grocery shopping

A 2018 national survey among U.S. adults indicated that about 35% bought groceries online. Lincoln Park Strategies conducted the survey sponsored by the International Food Information Council Foundation, Washington, D.C.  Among other findings:

  • Snacks, cereals, and canned goods were the most popular grocery items purchased online.
  • Respondents were more likely to read grocery nutrition information when shopping in a store versus online.
  • Cost of items/delivery (53%) and time it takes (39%) were the biggest barriers to online grocery shopping.

You can read the summary report here.

 A 2018 framework for farmer adoption of best management practices (BMP)

Researchers reporting in Sustainability reviewed findings of BMP adoption studies from developed and developing countries since 2008.  They used findings to suggest a conceptual framework for BMP adoption decisions. It emphasizes the importance of scale, the tailoring or targeting of information and incentives, and the importance of expected farm profits. Findings included the need to incorporate social norms and uncertainty into decision making.

Authors also suggested that more research is needed on uses of social media and market recognition approaches (such as certificate schemes and consumer labeling) to influence BMP adoption.

You can read the journal article here.

Communicator events approaching

October 19, 2018
Deadline for (a) research and innovative posters and (b) proposals for professional development sessions at the 2019 National Agricultural Communications Symposium, Montgomery, Alabama, January 31 – February 6, 2019.

November 7-9, 2018
“75 Years Strong.” Annual convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), Kansas City, Missouri.  Information:

Primary purpose of the press

We close this issue of ACDC News with a thought from former U. S. President Warren G. Harding. He was differentiating between the purposes of education and propaganda.

“I cannot but feel that the primary purpose of the press, as a social institution, is the opening of men’s minds rather than the closing of them.”

Best wishes and good searching

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique and valuable collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to

Click Here for a printer-friendly PDF of this newsletter.