Farm Glossary

Agribusiness: a way of farming that combines agriculture and business and usually involves large amounts of land, animals, and expensive technology be
Artifact: a historical object made by humans
Bacteria: microorganisms that live in the soil and convert nutrients into forms usable by plants
Bovine: cattle
Breed: to produce offspring by giving birth or by hatching
Bull: a sexually mature male bovine
Bushel: a measurement of capacity or size
Canal: a waterway built to let boats navigate the waters
Cash crop: what a farmer raises, crop or livestock, to sell for money
Cellulose: component of plant cell walls that is not digestible by most animals
Cob: the large round mass of an ear of corn where kernels grow
Combine: a machine used for harvesting grain
Commodity: an agricultural good
Compaction: the compression of air spaces in the soil by heavy machinery
Corn Ears: the part of a corn plant containing the corn cob, husk, and kernels
Corn Husk: the leaf like layer on the outside of corn ears, also known as a "shuck"
Cradle: a tool used for gathering a crop once it is finished growing
Cultivate: to improve the land by plowing and fertilizing
Disk: to prepare the soil for planting by cutting the soil with rotating metal disks
Domesticate: to tame and breed for human use
Ecology: the study of the environment and how living things interact with it
Ecosystem: a community of living and non-living things that interact by exchanging matter and energy
Environment: physical surroundings; all that is around you
Enzymes: proteins that start a chemical reaction
Erosion: to wear away topsoil by water or wind and can be caused by intensive farming and overgrazing
Ethanol: a form of natural gas that can be produced from corn
Excrete: to get rid of waste, such as manure
Expense: cost or charge of money
Extension Agency: an outreach arm of an agricultural university which provides educational programs on farming and does research
Fallow: left wihtout tilling or sowing after plowing
Farm Bureau: a non-governmental political agency that works for farmers' rights
Feed: a mixture or preparation used for feeding livestock
Feeder cattle: cattle, ready to be finished for market, weighing 550-650 pounds or heavier
Feed Lots: a small area where cattle are confined and fed carefully mixed, high-concentrate feed to fatten them
Fertilizer: organic or inorganic nutrients that are added to the soil to help the growth of crops
Finances: management of money affairs
Fixing: in the nitrogen cycle, it is the process of nitrogen changing into a less mobile and more usable form by combining with hydrogen to make amonia
Flail: a wooden bar with a wooden handle used for removing grain or seeds from stalks
4H: an agricultural club for children that features hands-on learning
Future Farmers of America (FFA): an educational organization for young adults who plan to have a career in agriculture
Gene: the DNA code in the cells of all living things; they determine physical characteristics such as fur color
Grade: classification system of food quality
Grange: an organization of farmers that provides support and plans social functions
Grass: a type of plant with jointed stems, slender flat leaves and spike like flowers such as corn and wheat
Grit: the inside of a corn kernel exposed after the outer covering, or hull, is removed
Groundwater: water held underground that has seeped through soil layers and bedrock
Harvest: to gather a crop when it is finished growing
Herbicide: a type of pesticide that kills weeds
Hock: back leg of cattle
Homestead: the place where a family makes its home
Humus: sticky, brown part of the soil that comes from dead plants and animals and contains many nutrients
Hybrid: an offspring of two animals or plants that are of different breeds, varieties or species
Hydroponic: grown in water without the use of soil
Income: a gain in money usually as a result of business or labor
Inputs: the amount of energy and money put into a farm in order to make a product
Insecticide: a type of pesticide that kills insects
Intensive grazing: the practice of rotating livestock between pastures to reduce overgrazing
Inventory: a list of current goods that you have or own
Kernel: the seed of a grain plant
Legume: any plant that grows seeds in a pod such as peas and beans
Livestock: any animals raised on the farm
Manure: animal waste from stables or barnyards
Market: where products are sold and exchanged
Matter: the material which makes up something
Mill: a machine used to grind grain for food
Microorganisms: tiny living things that can only be seen with a microscope
Monoculture: planting the same crop in a field year after year with no crop rotation
No till: a method of growing grain when the farmer does not plow the field before planting
Nodule: a swelling on the root of a legume that contains bacteria that fix nitrogen from the air
Nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and minerals that plants need to grow
Offal: the inedible parts of a butchered animal removed in dressing it
Organic farming: producing foods without the use of laboratory made fertilizers, growth subtances, or pesticides
Organic matter: the dead plants, animals and manure converted by earthworms and bacteria into humus
Pastures: land or a plot of land used for the grazing of animals
Pesticide: a substance that kills any pest, including insects, fungi, and weeds
pH: a value that indicates the acidity of the soil
Photosynthesis: the process by which green plants use light energy from the sun to produce sugar from water and the air
Plow: to work the soil by turning over the top layer; the machine used to turn the top layer of soil
Pollinate: to fertilize by transferring pollen from the anther to the stigma of a flower
Pork bellies: meat from the belly area of a pig; used for bacon
Port: a town or city where ships are loaded with products to be shipped overseas
Rendering plant: a place where lard, tallow, and oil are extracted from animal parts
Row Dividers: the large points on the end of a combine used to pick-up corn
Rotation: the changing of the specific fields used for one crop year to year
Rumen: the first large compartment of the stomach of a bovine; its bacteria and protazoa break down cellulose
Scythe: a blade with a long handle used to cut grass, grain, and other crops
Shear: the act of cutting hair or wool
Shock: a pile of grain that is set up like a cone
Silage: a mixture of raw materials such as field corn, sorghum, grass, or clover that is converted into winter feed for livestock
Slaughterhouse: a place where animals marketed for meat are killed humanely
Soil Conservation: careful preservation or protection of soil
Species: a group of living things that share common biological characteristics
Steer: a bull that has been castrated for better meat production
Stewardship: an individual's responsibility to exercise care over possessions entrusted to him or her
Sub-division: a piece of land to be divided into smaller lots, typically for housing
Technology: instruments, tools or inventions developed through research to increase efficiency
Tenant: a person who pays rent to live on someone else's land
Thresh: to beat out a grain or seed from a stalk by treading, rubbing or striking with a flail, or with a machine
Total Mixed Ration: a feed combination of hay, corn, barley, field grasses, cotton seed, and bakery or grocery by-products
Urbanization: the growth of the city into rural areas
USDA: United States Department of Agriculture, a Federal agency involved in all phases of agriculture
Weed: any unwanted plant, especially those that crowd out more desirable plants
Work ethic: qualities of character believed to be promoted by work
Yield: the amount of a crop produced in a given time or from a given place

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