GLOSSARY OF AGRICULTURAL TERMS
(crop science) An irrigation ditch or canal.
(crop science) The volume of water that would cover one acre to a depth of one foot.
(animal science) Average daily gain. The amount of body weight gain in a day.
Producers and manufacturers of agricultural goods and services, such as fertilizer and farm equipment makers, food and fiber processors, wholesalers, transporters, and retail food and fiber outlets.
(animal science) Artificial insemination. Impregnating an animal through artificial means, not through natural breeding.
Any plant which completes its entire life cycles and dies within one year or less.
A stratum of earth or permeable rock that stores significant quantities of water.
(dairy science) Associated Milk Producers, Inc. A farmer-owned milk marketing cooperative that purchases milk from dairy producers under a USDA approved Marketing Order sanctioned by Congress.
(animal science) Animal Unit (a/k/a cow/unit) Month. The amount of forage required by a mature cow and her calf for one month. Rule of thumb is one AUM equals one cow-calf, four ewes, or two yearlings on private land. US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in recent years been down grading conversions to one cow-calf unit equals one and one-half yearlings.
(animal science) Animal Unit Year Long. The amount of forage required by a mature cow and her calf for one year. A common measurement of the productive capacity of grazing land.
(animal science) A male pig castrated before reaching sexual maturity.
(dairy science) Basic Formula Price, determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that serves as a basis for pricing milk in the United States. The BFP is calculated monthly based on previous BFP and the price of cheese.
Controlling plants, diseases, and animal pests using natural enemies; or inhibiting the reproduction of pests by methods that result in the laying of infertile eggs, etc.
(wildlife science) Richness and abundance of species, and variety of natural communities. Both the number of species and the number of individuals within each species are important in considering the extent of biological diversity in an area. Also referred to as biodiversity.
(animal science) A sexually mature male hog.
(animal science) Sexually mature male and female livestock that are retained to produce offspring.
(animal science) A mature female horse used for breeding.
(forestry, wildlife science) Leaves, buds, and woody stems used as food by deer and other animals.
Commonly refers to undesirable shrubs and small trees. However, in severe winter country, some brush areas on a ranch may be desirable for livestock to brush up in for protection during severe storms. Brush may also be desirable wildlife habitat.
(dairy science) Bovine Somatotropin, commonly referred to as growth hormone. Produced naturally by the cow, stimulates metabolic functions related to growth and milk production.
(animal science) An uncastrated male bovine.
(animal science) The number or percentage of calves produced in a herd within a given year relative to the number of cows and heifers exposed to breeding.
(forestry) The uppermost layer in a forest, formed collectively by tree crowns.
(animal science) The measurement of a ranchs productivity over a long period of years. Typically stated as a ### cow (sheep) ranch. Measured in AUYLs and includes bulls (rams) and horses, but stated in number of cows.
(crop science) A farm implement used to break through and shatter compacted or otherwise impermeable layers of soil.
Class 1 milk
(dairy science) Milk that is used for fluid use.
(forestry) A harvest and regeneration technique removing all the trees (regardless of size) on an area. Clearcutting is commonly used with shade-intolerant species such as Douglas fir or lodgepole pine, which require full sunlight to reproduce and grow well. Clearcutting produces an even-aged stand of trees.
(crop science) A self-propelled or tractor-drawn machine which cuts, threshes, and cleans the standing crop which moving across the field. It is adapted to harvesting all the small grains, soybeans, grain sorghums, peanuts, beans, etc. In some areas, the crop is cut and placed in windrows by a swather (windrower), and a combine with a pickup attachment gathers the grain and threshes it at a later date.
(crop science) Field operations such as plowing, planting, cultivating, and harvesting on the contour, or at right angles to the natural slope to reduce soil erosion, protect soil fertility, and use water more efficiently.
(forestry) A stack of wood that has a gross volume of 128 cubic feet. A standard cord measures 4 feet x 4 feet x 8 feet.
(animal science) Slang term meaning several things, depending on the context used. Typically means the same as AUYL or Pair.
(wildlife science) Vegetation or other natural shelter serving to conceal wildlife from predators.
(animal science) The mating of animals of different breeds. For example, breeding a Hereford cow with an Angus bull.
(animal science) To select inferior animals from the herd for potential sale.
The name officially given for all cultivated varieties of plants.
(crop science) A machine used to till the upper portion of the soil, primarily used to destroy weeds or form a moisture retaining mulch.
(forestry) A tree that loses its leaves or needles during the fall and winter.
(dairy science) Dairy Herd Improvement Association. A nationwide system of performance testing and records processing for dairy producers.
(crop science) An tractor-drawn implement composed of circular plates arranged at an angle with the soil. Used to prepare the soil for seeding.
(crop science) Manages water for an irrigation district. This person is responsible for delivering water through ditches to farmers for irrigation.
Dormant / dormancy
A biological process in which a plant ceases most growth activities and simply maintains existing tissue.
Dowsing (water witching)
Using a forked stick or wire to locate underground water.
(crop science) A farm implement for planting seeds which forms a small furrow, deposits the seed in dribbles, covers the seed, and packs soil over it. It can also deposit fertilizer, lime, or other amendments into the soil, alone or with the seed.
(crop science) A method used to place irrigation water near plants' roots through pipes or tubes. This reduces water evaporation and runoff, but may not be cost effective for all crops.
(dairy science) A cow that is not lactating.
(dairy science) A rest period between lactations when a cow is not lactating, normally 60 days in duration.
(crop science) Farming on non-irrigated land. Success is based on rainfall, moisture-conserving tillage, and drought-resistant crops.
The study of insects and their environments.
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
A document evaluating the probable consequences of a proposed project that might significantly alter the environment. Required by the National Environmental Policy Act (1969) for any such project a U.S. government agency plants to undertake, regulate, or fund. An EIS is released in draft form (DEIS) to other agencies and the public for comment and review.
A stream that flows only sporadically, such as after storms. Term not used outside of textbooks.
(animal science) The recurrent, restricted period of sexual receptivity in livestock. Non-pregnant cows and heifers usually come in heat 18 to 21 days following their previous estrus.
(forestry) A tree that retains some or most of its leaves, or needles, throughout the year.
(animal science) A female sheep of any age.
A non-native plant or animal species introduced by humans, either deliberately or accidentally.
(crop science) Cropland left idle during the growing season.
Fed (or fat) cattle
(animal science) Cattle that have been finished, usually in the feedlot, and are ready for slaughter.
(animal science) Cattle past the calf stage that have weight increased making them salable as feedlot replacements.
(animal science) A confinement facility where cattle are fed to produce beef for the commercial trade.
(crop science) Any variety of corn that is grown extensively in large fields primarily for livestock feed, as contrasted with the horticultural varieties, such as sweet corn or popcorn. Most field corn is of the dent variety.
(animal science) A female horse less than three years old.
(forestry) An existing barrier, or one constructed before a fire occurs, from which all or most flammable materials have been removed.
(animal science) The wool coat of a sheep.
(animal science) A young horse of either sex, less than one year old.
(animal science) Herbaceous plants or plant parts fed to domestic animals.
(animal science, wildlife science) Green broadleaf weeds.
The science, art, and practice of managing and protecting tree and forest resources for human benefit.
(agricultural economics) An agreement between two people/parties. One who sells and agrees to deliver, and one who buys and agrees to receive a certain kind, quality, and quantity of products to be delivered during a specified delivery month at a specified price.
(animal science) A castrated male horse.
(animal science) Sexually mature female hog, prior to having her first litter.
Land owned by a government entity, typically US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, or State land. Typically, government land may be used by lease (by a given amount of acres) or permit (by a given amount of animal units). Lessees/permittees typically provide improvements such as fencing, waterings, shelter, roads, etc. at their expense but the improvements become the property of the government.
(crop science, gardening) A crop planted with the intention of turning it under for use as organic matter.
Water within the earth that supplies wells and springs.
(wildlife science) The term used in hunting capacity. For example, one gun is one hunter, ten guns are ten hunters.
(forestry) A term describing broadleaf trees, usually deciduous, such as oaks, maples, cottonwood, ashes, and elms.
(animal science) A young female bovine.
(wildlife science) The area within which the activities of an animal are confined. The boundaries may be marked, such as by scent marking, and also may be defended, depending on the species.
(dairy science) The process of physically reducing the particle size of fat in milk, thus enabling even distribution of fat throughout the milk.
Integrated pest management (IPM)
Using the best features of chemical, biological, and cultural controls in an overall pest control program.
(animal science, dairy science) The time between calving that a cow produces milk, usually 10 months.
(animal science) A young sheep, less than one year old.
State colleges and universities started from federal government grants of land to each state to encourage further practical education in agriculture, home economics, and the mechanical arts.
(crop science) A family of plants, including many valuable food and forage species, such as peas, beans, soybeans, peanuts, clovers, and alfalfas. They can convert nitrogen from the air to build up nitrogen in the soil.
(animal science) A mature female horse.
(dairy science) An infection and inflammation of the udder in cows.
Mid America Dairymen (Mid Am)
(dairy science) A farmer-owned milk cooperative that purchases milk from dairy producers. Headquarters in Missouri.
(dairy science) A facility that functions to extract milk from a cow by means of vacuum.
(crop science) A small drought-resistant grain sorghum with compact bearded heads of large yellow or whitish seeds.
(animal science) Meat from sheep that are over one year old.
Net farm income
(agricultural economics) The money and non-money income form operators realize from farming as a return for labor, investment, and management after production expenses have been paid. Net farm income is measured in two ways - net farm income before inventory adjustment and net farm income after inventory adjustment. Net farm income doesn't include changes in the value of inventories such as crops and livestock at the end of the year.
Oil seed crops
(crop science) Primarily soybeans, peanuts, cottonseed, and flaxseed used for the production of oils for cooking, protein meals, and nonfood uses. Less common oil crops include sunflower, safflower, castor beans, and sesame.
(animal science) A term commonly used to refer to a non-pregnant female. .
(animal science) A cow and nursing calf.
(dairy science) The process of heating milk to kill pathogens that may be harmful to humans.
(animal science) A fenced area of forage, usually improved, on which animals are grazed.
Used to destroy pests. Fungicides (destroys fungus), herbicides (destroys plants), insecticides (destroys insects), and nematicides (destroys nematodes) are all pesticides.
(crop science) A plant that lives for more than two years.
(animal science) Pasture of perennial or self-seeding annual plants maintained through several years of grazing.
(crop science, forestry) The process plants use to change air and water into food, using the sun's energy.
(animal science) Naturally hornless cattle; having no horns.
(crop science) A powered shaft, usually extending from the rear of the tractor and driven by the tractor motor, to supply rotative power to an attached or trailing implement such as a combine, hay baler, mower, etc.
(animal science) The offspring of animals.
(animal science) A feed containing protein, vitamins, and minerals which is fed to livestock to provide a
Ram (or buck)
(animal science) A male sheep of any age.
(animal science) A large open land area on which livestock wander and graze. The native vegetation is mainly grasses, forbs, and shrubs.
(dairy science) Recombinant BST, produced by genetically modified bacteria. Increases milk yield of dairy cows when administered properly.
Pertaining to the area along the banks of a river, stream, or lake.
(wildlife science) The term used in fishing capacity. For example, one rod is one fisherman for one day, ten rods are ten fishermen for one day.
Rotation (or crop rotation)
(crop science) The growing of different crops, in recurring succession, on the same land.
(crop science) The rows or planting beds are far enough apart to permit the operation of machinery between them for cultural operations.
A surveyed parcel of land containing 640 acres one square mile.
(animal science, plant science) Pedigreed or well-bred livestock which is maintained for breeding purposes. A specially selected strain of plants or seeds which are to be used as parents for future generations.
(forestry) Harvesting individual trees or small groups or trees at periodic intervals (usually 8 to 15 years) based primarily on their vigor and age. Selection harvesting perpetuates and uneven-aged stand.
(animal science) A crop that has been preserved in a moist, succulent condition by partial fermentation in a tight container (silo) above or below ground. The chief crops stored in this way are corn (the whole plant), sorghum, and various legumes and grasses. The main use of silage is in cattle feed.
(animal science) The male parent. To father or become the sire of.
(crop science) A cereal grass used mainly for feedgrain or silage.
(animal science) A sexually mature female hog, after having her first litter.
(crop science) A legume crop, native to the Orient, used mainly in the United States for high protein feed and oil.
(animal science) A cow that is about to calve.
(animal science) A male bovine castrated after puberty.
(animal science) A mature unaltered (uncastrated) male horse.
A recognizable area of plants that is relatively homogeneous and can be managed as a single unit.
(animal science) A male bovine castrated early in life, usually as a calf.
Stockers (or stocker cattle)
(animal science) Heifers and/or steers that are being grown on pasture or other forage for later sale as feedlot replacements.
(animal science) A mature unaltered (uncastrated) male horse used for breeding mares.
Total mixed ration
(animal science, dairy science) A diet where all the feed ingredients are blended together to ensure every bit is nutritionally balanced.
(crop science) The legal right to use a defined amount of water. A water right is a private property right that may be severed (moved) from the property or may be part and parcel (unmovable) of the land, depending on the State Statutes.
NOTE: The Water Resources Council opinion is that the US can only produce 1,200 billion gallons of fresh water a day, but by 2020, the country will need 1,400 billion gallons a day. Thus, water rights are crucial and becoming a valuable commodity itself.
An area of land that collects and discharges water into a single stream or other outlet. Also called a catchment or drainage basin.
(animal science) A cow that is producing milk. Typically means one nursing a calf or just had her calf weaned and is still in milk.
(animal science) A castrated male sheep. .
(animal science) A weaned calf. Calves are typically weaned at approximately seven months old. Short yearling is slightly under a year old; long yearling is over a year old.
(animal science) A dun colored horse with a black stripe perpendicular to the body across the withers.