An agricultural glossary includes terms that scientists, farmers, and others involved in agriculture use on a daily basis. The definitions can be valuable to anyone, however, because they help provide a better understanding of how this world works.
AAEA: American Agricultural Economics Association.
Acre-foot: A unit of volume used for water; equals the amount of water that would cover one acre of land one foot deep.
ADG: Average Daily Gain; the amount of weight a farm animal gains in a single day.
AI: Artificial Insemination; the way humans impregnate animals through scientific means.
Annual: A type of flower or plant that lives for only one year.
AUM: Animal Unit Month; the amount of land a cow needs to graze in a single month.
Barrow: A male pig that has been castrated before reaching maturity.
BFP: Basic Formula Price; the way in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture determines the price of milk and cheese.
Biological control: The way in which scientists stop insects from reproducing.
Breeding stock: Animals kept for the sole purpose of reproducing.
Brush: Plant life that has no commercial use.
BST: Bovine somatotropin hormone; used to increase growth and milk production in cows.
Calf crop: The number of calves a certain group of cows gives birth to in a certain year.
Chisel: A sharp tool used to break through hard layers of ground.
Clean Air Act: A federal law designed to limit air pollution.
Clearcut harvest: The removal of all trees in an area in order to increase the growth of new plant life.
Combine: A thrashing machine used to clear or harvest crops.
Cord: A unit of measurement used for wood.
Crossbreeding: The process of causing two different breeds of the same species to mate and produce offspring.
Deciduous: A type of tree that sheds its leaves before the colder months.
Dowsing: The process of using a rod to search for underground water sources.
Drip irrigation: The use of pipes to bring water into contact with the roots of plants.
Dryland farming: The process of farming using natural rain showers rather than irrigation.
Environmental impact statement: A document that explains how a given project may affect the environment.
Ephemeral stream: A stream that doesn't flow constantly, and normally flows only after precipitation.
Fed cattle: Cattle sent to the slaughterhouse.
Feedlot: A building where cattle are kept solely for trade.
Field corn: Corn raised for cattle feed.
Futures contract: A contract between a seller and buyer, dependent upon a specific price and type of product.
Gelding: An adult male horse that has been castrated.
Heifer: A young female cow.
Insecticide: A type of chemical used to kill insects.
Milking parlor: A building where cows are milked using a vacuum process.
NAA: National Aquacultural Act.
Net farm income: The amount of income a farm earns in a year, after paying production costs.
Oil seed crops: Crops such as peanuts and soybeans that are used for creating oils.
Pasteurization: The process of heating milk to a certain temperature to remove pathogens.
Perennial: A type of flower or plant with a life span of at least two years.
Protein supplement: A supplement given to an animal as part of a balanced diet.
Rotation: The method of using the same piece of land for different crops every year, in order to prevent crops from
dying due to depleted soil nutrients.
Row crops: Crops that are planted in rows, leaving space for machinery.
Safe Drinking Water Act: An act that holds farmers responsible for the cleanliness of their water.
Section: One square mile of surveyed land.
Seedstock: Animals, usually ones with pedigrees, that are kept solely for breeding.
Sire: The father of a certain animal.
Sow: A hog that has already been pregnant.
Stallion: A sexually mature male horse.
Total mixed ration: A ration given to animals to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.
VAT: Value Added Tax.