Glossary of Agriculture Terms

Glossary of Agriculture Terms & Definitions

Agricultural Ecology

Contained in this glossary of agriculture terms is a list of definitions of fundamental terms and concepts used in agriculture, the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products, and also the sub-disciplines, and related fields of agriculture.

a
  • afforestation - Afforestation is the establishment of a forest or stand of trees (forestation) in an area where there was no recent tree cover.
  • anaemia - Anaemia is when the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells or haemoglobin. Red blood cells and haemoglobin (the molecule in red blood…
b
  • brooding - Brooding is defined as the management of chicks from one day old to about 8 weeks of age, and it involves the provision of heat…
c
  • capture fishery - Capture fishery involves catching fish directly from water bodies i.e. lakes, seas, ponds, etc. It involves the natural development of fishes i.e. No need for…
  • chlorosis - Chlorosis is a yellowing of normally green leaves due to a lack of chlorophyll. A common cause of chlorosis is a deficiency of iron or…
  • colostrum - Colostrum is the first breast milk produced by the mammary glands of humans and other mammals immediately following the delivery of the newborn, and it’s…
  • cross-pollination - Cross-pollination is the transfer of pollen from the anther of one flower to the stigma of another flower on a different individual of the same…
  • cudding - Cud is a portion of food that returns from a ruminant’s stomach to the mouth to be chewed for the second time. More precisely, it…
  • culling - the action of sending an inferior or surplus farm animal to be slaughtered.
d
  • deforestation - Deforestation, in simple terms, means the felling and clearing of forest cover or tree plantations to accommodate agricultural, industrial or urban use.
  • dieback - Dieback refers to the progressive death of twigs, shoots, branches, or roots generally starting at the tip. It is common in woody plants.
  • digestion - Digestion is the breakdown of large insoluble food compounds into small water-soluble components so that they can be absorbed into the blood plasma. In certain…
  • diploid - A diploid cell has two complete sets of chromosomes. Most cells in humans are diploid, comprising 23 chromosome pairs, so 46 chromosomes in total. This…
  • draught animal - Animals used for work and transportation are known as draught animals. They are classified as animals domesticated to assist humans in agricultural tasks like carrying…
e
  • ecology - Ecology is the study of organisms and how they interact with the environment around them. An ecologist studies the relationship between living things and their…
  • evapotranspiration - Evapotranspiration is the sum of all processes by which water moves from the land surface to the atmosphere via evaporation and transpiration. The evapotranspiration rate,…
f
  • feedstuff - food provided for cattle and other livestock.
  • fingerling - a young or small fish, especially a very small salmon or trout, less than a year old and about the size of a human finger.
  • forest regeneration - Forest regeneration is the process by which new tree seedlings become established after forest trees have been harvested or have died from fire, insects, or…
h
  • haploid - Haploid refers to the presence of a single set of chromosomes in an organism’s cells. Sexually reproducing organisms are diploid (having two sets of chromosomes,…
  • hermaphrodite - A hermaphrodite is a sexually reproducing animal or flower that has both male and female reproductive organs. Hermaphroditic animals are mostly invertebrates such as worms,…
  • husbandry - the care, cultivation, breeding and production of crops and animals.
  • hybrid vigour - Hybrid vigour, also known as heterosis or outbreeding enhancement, is the phenomenon that a hybrid offspring has improved traits, such as growth rate, biomass, stress…
i
  • incubation - Incubation is the maintenance of uniform conditions of temperature and humidity to ensure the development of eggs or, under laboratory conditions, of certain experimental organisms,…
  • infiltration - Infiltration is the process by which water on the ground surface enters the soil.
  • irrigation - Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the soil through various systems of tubes, pumps, and sprays. It helps grow crops, landscape plants, and…
l
  • land fragmentation - Land fragmentation is defined as the division of land into discrete plots dispersed over a wide area but owned by a single household. In areas…
  • land tenure - Land tenure means the act of acquiring land either by an individual, family, community or government, temporarily or permanently. It determines who can use land,…
  • land use Act of 1978 - The land use Act of 1978 is a reform essentially aimed at encouraging proper, productive and efficient use of land. It abolished the existing land…
  • landscape - A landscape is the visible features of an area of land, its landforms, and how they integrate with natural or man-made features, often considered in…
  • legume - A legume is any plant that bears its fruit inside a pod. Legume is an umbrella term that includes beans and pulses. Thus, all beans…
m
  • macronutrient - Macronutrients are nutrients that a plant needs in relatively large amounts. Essential macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and…
  • micronutrient - Micronutrients are nutrients that plants need in only small or trace amounts. Boron (B), chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), nickel…
  • microorganism - Microbes are organisms that are too small to be seen without using a microscope. They include organisms like bacteria, archaea, and single-cell eukaryotes (organisms whose…
  • morphology - Morphology is the study of the size, shape, and external structure of animals, plants, and microorganisms and their unique structural characteristics.
n
  • non-ruminant - Non-ruminant animals are animals with a single stomach compartment. They are omnivores or canivores and they have a simple stomach with a single compartment within…
  • nursery - Non-ruminant animals are animals with a single stomach compartment. They are omnivores or canivores and they have a simple stomach with a single compartment within…
o
  • organic matter - Organic matter is anything that contains carbon compounds that were formed by living organisms. It covers a wide range of things like lawn clippings, leaves,…
p
  • percolation - Percolation is the downward movement of water through soil layers due to gravity and capillary forces.
  • permeability - Permeability is a measure of the ability of a porous material (having small spaces or holes through which liquid or air may pass) to allow…
  • plankton - Plankton are microscopic organisms that live at and beneath the surface of lakes, rivers, ponds, and oceans across the planet. The word “plankton” comes from…
  • polled - lacking horns, either naturally or because they have been removed.
  • potable - Water that is suitable for drinking.
  • precipitation - Precipitation is any liquid or frozen water that forms in the atmosphere and falls back to the Earth. It comes in many forms, like rain,…
  • propagule - A propagule is a vegetative structure that can become detached from a plant and give rise to a new plant, e.g. a bud, sucker, or…
  • pruning - Pruning is the practice of selectively removing specific parts of a tree or shrub, such as buds, branches, or roots. It is a maintenance procedure…
  • putrefaction - Putrefaction is the decay or rotting in the body or other organic matter by the action of microorganisms resulting in the production of a foul…
  • putrefying bacteria - Putrefying bacteria are bacteria that are involved in the putrefaction of living matter. Putrefaction is the decay of organic matter by the action of microorganisms…
r
  • root absorption - In higher plants, water and minerals are absorbed through root hairs which are in contact with soil water, and form a root hair zone a…
  • ruminant - Ruminant animals are animals that have a stomach with four compartments: the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. They include animals such as cattle, sheep, goats,…
s
  • seedling - A seedling is a young plant that has been grown from a seed.
  • selective exploitation - Selective exploitation is the cutting of matured trees leaving the young ones to continue growing. The young trees are left to remain as cover, grow…
  • Self-pollination - Self-pollination occurs when the pollen from the anther is deposited on the stigma of the same flower or another flower on the same plant.
  • Soil aeration - Soil aeration is the mechanism of exchange of gases between the atmosphere and soil. It involves perforating the land with small holes for air, water…
  • soil compaction - Soil compaction occurs when soil particles are pressed together, reducing pore space between them (Figure 1). Heavily compacted soils contain few large pores, less total…
  • substratum - A substratum is an underlying layer or substance, in particular a layer of rock or soil beneath the surface of the ground. e.g. A substratum…
t
  • Threshing - Threshing is the process of separating the grain from the straw. It can be either done by hand, by using a treadle thresher or mechanized.
  • tillage - Tillage is a technique of manipulating the soil for obtaining conditions ideal for seed germination, seedling establishment and growth of crops. It refers to the…
  • Tilth - Tilth is land that has been ploughed, sowed, and tilled and is ready to be used for raising crops. It is the physical condition of…
  • topography - Topography can be defined as the study of the shape and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area refers to the surface shapes…
z
  • zoonotic - A zoonotic disease is an infectious disease that is transmitted between species from animals to humans (or from humans to animals).

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