Glossary of Agricultural Terms

Wheat: The Major Rabi Crop of India
Glossary of Agricultural Terms
This page contains a list of the terms and their definition related to Agriculture. However, this is not a complete list of agricultural terms and subject for further expansion.

Acid-bog: a wetland that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material, often mosses and in majority of cases, sphagnum moses.
Acid Soils: soils with acidic nature, a pH less than 7.0.
Actinomycetes: a specific group of bacteria, which morphologically resemble fungi because of their elongated cells
Acre: A parcel of land, containing 4,840 square yards or 43,560 square feet
Alkaline soils: clay soils with high pH (> 8.5), a poor soil structure and a low infiltration capacity
Apiary: bees colonies in hives and other beekeeping equipments for the commercial production of honey.
Arable land: land which can be ploughed and used to grow crops.
Auger: spiral device on a shaft used to move grain through a tube.

Balance  Ration: a  ration  which  furnishes  all  the  necessary  nutrients  in  the  proportions  and  amounts needed by the animal for normal functioning and growth.
Beejamrutha: a traditional preparation for seed treatment using cow dung, cow urine, handful of soil in water and lime.
Biodegradable: decomposed by micro-organisms thereby avoiding pollution.
Biofertilisers: substances which contain living microorganisms that help the plants to grow.
Biosecurity: protection of the animals, plants and humans from diseases, pests and bio-terrorism.
Bloating: abnormal  swelling  of  the  abdomen  of  livestock,  caused  by  excessive  gas  formation  which can result in death.
Broiler: a chicken of either sex about 7 weeks of age.
Bulbous plant: certain plants which have modified underground stem in which food material in stored to overcome the unfavourable season.
Bushel: Aaunit of dry measure (1 cubic foot) for grain, fruit, etc., equivalent to 8 gallons of liquid.
Bunds: an embankment or causeway

Calf: a young animal (up to yearling or sexual maturity) of the bovine species.
Cash crop: Any crop that is sold off the farm to yield ready cash.
Cattle: Animals kept in a farm to get milk or meat or for carrying heavy loads.
Certification for Organic Farming: The procedure by which the accredited certification body by way of a Scope Certificate assures that the production or processing system of the operator has been methodically assessed and it conforms to the specified requirements as envisaged in the National Programme for Organic Production.
Certified  Seed:  Seed  grown  from  pure  stock  which  meets  the  standards  of  certifying  agency (usually state agency).
Cladding Material: Covering material of the greenhouse, i.e., polythene, shade net or polycarbonate, etc.
Clogging: Water blockage
Coco peat: Growing medium prepared from dried powder of coconut plant fibres
Colloids: a mixture in which insoluble particles of one substance is dispersed and suspended throughout another substance
Compatibility: Miscibility or mixing ability without precipitation
Conventional farming: a method of growing plants such as fruits and vegetables using chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
Conversion period: This is the time between the start of organic management and the certification of crops as organic.
Cosmic: Relating to the universe.
Crock: a broken piece of an earthenware
Crop rotation: a planned sequence of growing different crops in the same field. It is opposite of continuous cropping, which is growing the same crop in the same field year after year.
Crop-water-requirement: the water requirement of the crop, which includes transpiration of the crop, as well as, direct evaporation from the soil.
Culling: a process of sending inferior or surplus farm animal to be slaughtered.

Decidous: trees or shrubs which shed leaves annually
Defoliation: removal of foliage or leaves
Desertification:  process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture.
Deshooting: removal or cutting of unwanted shoots
Disbudding: removal of unwanted buds from flowers
Diseases: abnormality in the normal functioning of the body of an animal/plant
Dolomite lime: a rock which consists of calcium magnesium carbonate. Dolomite lime fertiliser is certainly allowed in organic gardening.

EC (Electrical conductivity): The measurement of salt content in the extracted soil water when the soil is saturated with water expresser in millimhos per cm.
EC Meter: a device used for measuring the electrical conductivity of water or aqueous phase of soil.
Eco-friendly: not harmful to the environment.
Eutrophication: when a waterbody becomes over enriched with minerals and nutrients which induce excessive growth of plants and algae and results in oxygen depletion in the waterbody.
Evapo-transpiration: water loss through transpiration from plants canopy and evaporation from the soil surface and expressed in mm/day.

Fair Trade Certification: Fair Trade Certification (FTC) is a certification process that sets standards for the way product is produced and how much a farmer/farming cooperative earns. The criteria are fair price for farmers and decent working and living conditions for workers.
Fertigation: Artificial fertiliser application in a closed irrigation system. Pesticides and fungicides can also be applied in this way.Fine tilth: fine textured soil
Floriculture: a branch of horticulture, which deals with the cultivation of flowering and ornamental plants
Flower abortion: abscission or shedding of premature flowers
Franchise: An authorisation granted by a government or company to an individual or group enabling them to carry out specified commercial activities, for example, acting as an agent for a company’s products.
Fumigant: a chemical that produces fumes used to disinfect or purify an area.

Girdling: the complete removal of a strip of bark
Green manure: Plants or crops which are ploughed back into the soil
Green revolution: Use of pesticides, artificial fertilisers and high-yielding varieties of crops to meet the increased
Greenhouse effect: A phenomenon in which the atmosphere traps radiation, caused by gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapour and methane (by polythene in a polyhouse) that allow more sunlight to pass through but less to return back from the earth’s (greenhouse) surface.
Growing medium: anything that a plant can grow in
Gutter: Channel for collecting water for run-offs from the roof of plants in a soil is reached when the suction force of plants cannot overcome tension by which groundwater is tied by the soil. At this point plants start to wilt.

Habitat: The natural home or environment of an animal, plant or other organism.
House plants: indoor plants
Hydrometer: a device to measure the specific gravity (relative density) of liquids
Hygrometer: a device to measure relative humidity

Implement: tool, utensil, instrument, device, apparatus, contrivance, gadget, contraption, appliance, machine
Insect: members of the largest group of hexapod invertebrates within the arthropod phylum
Irradiation: exposure to radiation for partial or complete sterlisation; the application of radiation such as X-rays or gamma rays for therapeutic purpose or for sterlisation.
IR-Transmission: penetrability of heat radiation through plastic films

Jeewanamrutha: a traditional manure preparation using water, cow dung, cow urine, jiggery, flour of any pulse and one handful of soil from the same land.

Kharif Crops: crops grown during June–July to September–October; and require a warm wet weather during their major period of growth; and shorter day length for flowering. e.g., rice, maize, and castor.

Labelling: written, printed or graphic representation depicted on the label of the certified organic product for the purpose of promoting its sale.
Lactation: a period during which milk is secreted by mammary glands of females of mammals after they give birth.
Landscape: visible features of an area of land, its land forms and how they integrate with natural or man-made features
Leaching: draining away of water, soluble chemicals or minerals from soil
Livelihood: Source of income.
Loamy soil: soil composed mostly of sand, silt and a smaller amount of clay
Lux Meter: Device to measure light intensity

Marsh: nutrient-rich wetlands that support a variety of weeds and grasses
Mechanised farming: use of machines or automatic devices in farming
Micronutrients: nutrients which are required by plants in very minute dosages or in traces only.
Moulding: the shaping of raw material using a solid frame of a particular shape, called a pattern
Multi span: refers to more then two interior column or multiple standing columns to support structure
Multi-span greenhouses: greenhouses with more than two attached covers (tunnels)

NAA: Naphthalene Acetic acid is an organic compound with the formula C10H7CH2CO2H
National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP): This programme by the Government of India provides an institutional mechanism for implementation of the National Standards for Organic Production.
National Standards for Organic Production (NSOP): This body sets out the standards to be followed in the cultivation, harvest, production, processing and trading of organic products.
Natural predators: These beneficial anthropods (insects) prey on other insects and spider mites that are critical for natural biological control. Lady beetles are natural enemies of aphids and other sap feeders. A single lady beetle may eat as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.
Nutraceuticals: any product derived from food sources with extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods

Operator: A farmer, processor, trader, handler or exporter who is under organic certification.
Orchid: diverse and widespread group of flowering plants, with colourful and fragrant blooms
Organic agriculture: A system of farm design and management to create an ecosystem, which can achieve sustainable productivity without the use of artificial external inputs such as chemicals, fertilisers and pesticides.
Ornamental: serving or intended as an ornament; decorative.

Pan evaporation: the evaporation of water from open surface and is recorded at meteorological station on a daily basis and expressed in mm/day, under protected.
Panchagavya: a mixture of five cow products. The three direct constituents are cow dung, urine and milk. The two derived products are curd and ghee. These are mixed in proper ratio and are then allowed to ferment.
Pasture: Land covered with grass and other low plants suitable for grazing animals, especially cattle or sheep.
Peat: A brown colour material consisting of partly decomposed vegetable matter forming a deposit on acidic, boggy, ground, which is dried for use in gardening and as fuel.
Perishable: likely to decay or get spoiled quickly.
Perlite: White granular particles formed when volcanic mineral rock is heated quickly, causing it to expand. It is used in many potting mediums.
Pest: A destructive insect or animal that attacks crops, food, livestock, etc.
Pesticides: Synthetic chemicals to kill pests.
pH: potential of hydrogen ion, is a scale of soil reaction from 0 to 14
Phenotype: Set of observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genes with the environment.
pH-meter: digital meter (in pocket size) to measure the acidity in moist soil. The most favourable levels are in the range between 6 and 7.
Pinching: a method of plant pruning used to encourage multiple branches
Plug trays: compact design allows you to fit more plants in the greenhouse
Pollen: The male germ cells.
Pollinators: A pollinator is an animal or insect that causes plants to make fruit or seeds. Pollinators do this by moving anthers of the flower of a plant to stigma of the pistal of same or another flower. This pollen then fertilises the egg in the ovary of the pistil.
Porous: material having minute interstices through which liquid or air may pass
Predatory insects: the insects feed upon other insects (prey) that are usually smaller and weaker than it, frequently devouring them completely and rapidly.
Processed products: processing of a product includes a series of chemical or mechanical operations in order to preserve its originality for long time or to increase the shelf-life.
Protected Cultivation: crop cultivation under protected structures like glasshouses, polyhouses, tunnels, shade nets for protection from biotic and abiotic stress for a healthy production system.
Protozoa: a diverse group of unicellular eukaryotic animals or organisms with animal-like behaviour, such as motility and predation
Pro-tray: plastic trays used for soilless production of nursery Shade net house: Protected structures covered by a shade net often on all sides to protect the crop from intense solar radiation
Pulverize: reduce to fine particles

Rabi crops: crops grown during October–November to January–February; require cold dry weather for their major growth period; and longer day length for flowering. e.g., barley, oats, potato, and cauliflower.
Recyclable: substance which can be recycled or made suitable for reuse.
Replenishing: restore to a former level or condition
Run-off: draining away of water (or substances carried in it) from the surface of an area of land.

Saline soil: soil containing sufficient neutral soluble salts that adversely affect the growth of most crop plants
Scion: a detached living portion of a desirable plant joined to a stock in grafting
Shelf-life: the length of time for which an item remains fit for consumption.
Silty: fine sand, clay, or other material carried by running water and deposited as sediment
Single span: a gap between two supports, single span structure has a single interior column or free standing structure.
Slurry: a semi-liquid mixture, typically of fine particles of manure.
Soil erosion: washing away of top soil.
Soil fertility: ability of the soil to supply essential nutrients and water in adequate amounts for plant growth.
Solarisation: use of solar power for controlling soil-borne pests
Sphagnum moss: commonly known as peat moss. Mosses that belong to the sphagnum genus are known for their high water retention potential. As sphagnum can absorb water rapidly and maintain the moisture content, it allows the succulents to stay hydrated.
Staple food: food eaten as main food by large number of people.
Sterilisation: disinfestations of any medium or container or soil to make it free from infection of bacteria, fungi or other microbes and or disable any living entity to reproduce. It is also called ascepticisation.
Sterilisation: process that eliminates, removes, kills, or deactivates all forms of life and other biological agents from a medium
Strip  Cropping:  growing  crops  in  long  narrow  strips  across  a  sope  approximately  on  a  line  of  contour,  alternating  dense-growing  intertilled  crops.
Subsoiling: breaking  of  compact  subsoils  without  inverting  them.
Substrate: surface or material on which an organism lives, grows, or obtains its nourishment.
Susceptibility: liable to be influenced or affected by external factors.

Tang: projection on the blade of a knife or other tools by which the blade is held firmly in the handle
Texture: the feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface or substance
Tilth: the physical condition of soil as related to its ease of tillage, fitness as seed bed and its promotion of seedling emergence and root penetration
Tines: a prong or sharp point
Top Dressing: Lime, fertilizer, or manure applied after the seedbed is ready, or after the plants are up.
Topsoil: layer  of  soil  used  for  cultivation,  which  usually  contains  more  organic  matter  than  underlying materials.
Total  Digestible  Nutrients  (TDN):  sum  of  all  nutrients  in  a  feed  that  are  digested  by  the  animal.
Transpiration: sum of water physiologically evaporated or transpired by the plant

Vacuum-effect: a strong stream of air over the greenhouse cover, which induces lower air pressure within the greenhouse.
Ventilation box: box protecting against sunlight allowing for free airflow in protected cultivation.
Ventilation: movement or exchange of air across the system or cross aeration.
Vermicompost: process of composting using various types of worms/earthworms.
Vermiculite: a yellow or brown mineral found as an alteration product of mica and other minerals, used for insulation or as a moisture-retentive medium for growing plants.

Walk-in tunnel: protected structures covered by polythene, high enough for walking by workers and open on both the ends generally to allow pollinators
Weathering of rocks: breaking down of rocks, soil and minerals
Weed: a plant that grows in an unwanted place, especially in a garden or field where it prevents the cultivated plants from growing freely.

Zaid Crops: crops grown during February–March to May–June; requires warm dry weather for growth; longer day–length for flowering. e.g., black gram, green gram, sesame, cowpea etc. (Read: Agriculture in India)
Zero tillage: an extreme form of minimum tillage. Primary tillage is completely avoided and secondary tillage is restricted to seedbed preparation in the row zone only.

Source: NCERT
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