The knowledge of the main diffuse sources of sediment production can enhance efficiency in the use of public resources invested in management strategies that seek to mitigate sediment transfer. Conventional fingerprinting methods based on geochemical composition are timeconsuming and require critical preliminary sample preparation. In this sense, spectroscopic methods can be less labor-intensive, cheap, and viable alternative for this purpose. The present study aimed to evaluate the sediment sources in agricultural catchments from Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, and to evaluate the potential use of spectroscopy measurements as a low cost and easy alternative to fingerprinting sediment sources. The total area of the study includes five catchments as Arvorezinha, Júlio de Castilhos 1, Júlio de Castilhos 2, Conceição, and Guaporé with areas of 1.19, 0.80, 1.43, 804.3, and 2,027.2 km², respectively. Sediment sources evaluated were crop fields, grasslands, unpaved roads, and stream channels. Sediment sampling strategy included time-integrated samplers, fine-bed sediments, and storm-event sediments. The total concentrations of several geochemical tracers were estimated in sediment and source samples. Spectral measurements were made for ultraviolet-visible, near-infrared, and mid-infrared ranges only for the Arvorezinha catchment. Source ascriptions obtained by alternative methods based on spectroscopy analysis were in agreement with ascriptions from classical fingerprinting method based on geochemical composition. Spectral information can be as precise as the geochemical tracers. Besides, combining visible-based-colour to geochemical tracers was a rapid and inexpensive way to enhance discrimination between source types and to improve precision of sediment sources apportionment. Findings of sediment source apportionment demonstrate that other factors than proportion of land use, such as distribution of croplands, forests, and unpaved roads in the landscape; play an important role in sediment production. Riparian forests seems to be a key factor for stream channel erosion. Unpaved roads seems to be strongly scale-related and dependent upon the number of points were roads across directly the stream network. The crop fields, even when cultivated with no-tillage, are still the main source of sediment in agricultural catchments in southern Brazil. The amount of sediment yielded from crop fields per unit of area that actually reaches the stream outlet ranged from 0.06 to 3.95 ton ha-1 yr-1. These variations are attributed partly to the relief and slope, but land use and soil management mostly influences them. The amount of sediment originated from crop fields are still too high for low susceptible areas with no-till, as Conceição catchment (1.30 ton ha-1 yr-1), indicating that further efforts are still necessary to further reduce soil erosion. Therefore, there is an urgent need to better plan land use and occupation in these catchments, inasmuch as the soil management systems used by farmers are still inefficient to reduce runoff and erosion in areas with crops in southern Brazil.