word listings Common Farmfolio and Agribusiness Concepts

Glossary

Accredited Investor An accredited investor is a term used by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Rule 501 of Regulation D.
Acidic soils The degree of acidity (or "sourness") in the soil, is expressed as a number within a pH scale, running from 0 to 14. pH is the concentration of hydrogen (H) ions -- the more hydrogen ions there are, the more acid the soil is. Below 7 is considered to be acidic while above 7 is alkaline. Although plants prefer different levels of pH, if a soil is too acidic it, plants cannot take up nutrients such as N, P and K. Most nutrients that plants need are readily available when the pH of the soil solution ranges from 6.0 to 7.5. Agricultural involution increasing productivity in terms of output per area (land productivity) but not increasing labour productivity (output per labourer).
Active farmer To avoid granting aid to individuals and companies whose agricultural activity is marginal, direct payments are paid only to ʽactive farmers.ʼ For instance, an individual who operates an airport, a railway service, waterworks, real estate service, a sports ground or a recreation facility, is in principle not considered an active farmer unless he/she proves that farming is not a marginal activity.
Administrative burden Administrative activities that farmers and administrations conduct only because of legal obligations and which add no real value to their work.
Advanced biofuel An advanced biofuel is produced by advanced technology using all parts of the crop or from non-food feedstocks (e.g. wastes, agricultural and forestry residues, dedicated energy crops). The end product (advanced bioethanol or advanced biodiesel) is the same as that produced by first generation technology. The term ʽadvanced biofuelʼ is synonymous with the term ʽsecond generation biofuelʼ.
Adverse climatic event Weather conditions, such as frost, storms and hail, ice, heavy rain or severe drought, which can be considered to be a natural disaster.
Advisory services These are services intended to assist farmers (as well as forest holders and small and medium enterprises in rural areas) to improve the economic and environmental performance of their holdings. These services provide tailor-made advice, taking into consideration the specificities of the farm, to contribute to the sustainability and climate friendliness of the holding. The scope of the advice covers any economic, environmental and social aspect that a beneficiary may need to develop his or her activity.
Afforestation This is the planting of trees for the purpose of creating woodland or forest.
Agribusiness A way of farming that combines agriculture and business and usually involves large amounts of land, animals, and expensive technology be.
Agricultural activity The 2013 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy introduced the stipulation that, for the purpose of receiving direct payments, farmers shall have an agricultural activity which means: • the production, rearing or growing of agricultural products including harvesting, milking, breeding animals and keeping animals for farming purposes; or • maintaining the agricultural area in a state which makes it suitable for grazing or cultivation without any particular preparatory action going beyond usual agricultural methods and machinery based on criteria to be defined by member states on the basis of a framework established by the Commission; or • carrying out a minimum activity to be established by member states on agricultural areas naturally kept in a state suitable for grazing or cultivation.
Agricultural area Any area taken up by arable land, permanent grassland or permanent crops.
Agro-ecosystem Agro-ecosystems are about the interactions between all living and non-living components at farm level and in the surrounding landscape.
Agro-industry Industrial sector that processes agricultural products.
Agrobiodiversity The variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms that are used directly or indirectly for food and agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries. It comprises the diversity of genetic resources (varieties, breeds) and species used for food, fodder, fibre, fuel and pharmaceuticals. It also includes the diversity of non-harvested species that support production (soil micro-organisms, predators, pollinators), and those in the wider environment that support agro-ecosystems (agricultural, pastoral, forest and aquatic) as well as the diversity of agroecosystems (FAO, 1999).
Agroecology The term agroecologia originates from Latin America, and refers to the holistic study of agroecosystems, including environmental and human elements. Its goal is to integrate components so that biological efficiency is improved, biodiversity is preserved and the agroecosystem productivity and its self-regulating capacity are maintained. This term is used in Latin America for what the rest of the world refers to as organic agriculture – in Latin America, organic agriculture is specifically linked to a particular system of certification. (For more information and literature links, see the Agroecology in Action website at: www.agroeco.org).
Agroforestry This basically refers to "trees on farm". It is the collective name for land-management systems that optimise the economic and ecological benefits created when trees and/or shrubs are integrated with crops and/or livestock. (For more information and links to resources, see the website for the World Agroforestry Centre, at: www.worldagroforestry.orgAlso see LEISA Magazine issue on Trees and Farmers (1990))
Agrofuels See Biofuels.
Alkaline soils The degree of alkalinity (or “sweetness”) in the soil, is expressed as a number within a pH scale, running from 0 to 14. pH is the concentration of hydrogen (H) ions -- the less hydrogen ions there are, the more alkaline the soil is. Above 7 is considered to be alkaline while below 7 is acid. Although plants prefer different levels of pH, if a soil is too alkaline, nutrients such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mg), and phosphorus (P) are less available. Most nutrients that plants need are readily available when the pH of the soil solution ranges from 6.0 to 7.5.
Amino acids Building blocks for proteins.
Amortization As opposed to an interest-only loan in which each repayment installment consists only of interest payments with a single lump-sum principal repayment at the end of the loan period, each repayment installment of an amortizing loan consists of both principal and interest.
Appreciation An increase in value is referred to as “appreciation”.
Aquifers An underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt or clay) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted.
Arbuscules These are formed by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and look similar to minute sea anemones because they have many small projections that extend inside the plant cells. They are formed by repeated branching of a hypha when it enters a cell.
Artifact A historical object made by humans
Ave Class of animals that are referred to as “true birds”, including domesticated poultry.