Welcome to the AgMag glossary!
Click on a word to see its definition.
Click on a letter button to jump to another section of the glossary.
Growing plants and raising animals that people use for food, clothing, and many other things every day. It's also harvesting those farm products and getting them to us so we can use them.
Agriculture is the industry that grows, harvests, processes, and brings us food, fiber, fish, forests, sod, landscaping materials, and more. Agriculture is connected in some way with almost everything we eat, wear, and use.Agriculture System
The steps required to get an agricultural product from the farm to the consumer. There are six steps that are usually involved: Producing, processing, distributing, marketing, consuming, and disposing. Not all systems have all six steps.Anemia
When someone's blood does not have enough red blood cells. It can make people tired and pale.Aquaculture
The process of farming aquatic life, like fish and shrimp.Aquatic
Of or relating to water, such as plants or animals that live in water.Aquifers
Underground areas of gravel, sand, or fractured rock, through which water can flow.
Microorganisms that grow and multiply quickly in warm temperatures. Bacteria is everywhere; some bacteria are helpful, other bacteria can be harmful.Biological Control
Controlling pests by bringing in a natural predator to that pest.Biome
The parts of the Earth's surface that are divided by climate, soil types, and the kinds of plants and animals that live within each part. Minnesota has four distinct biomes.Bonanza Farms
Large farms (usually from 1,500-100,000 acres) that focus on one or two highly valuable crops. These farms sell most of what they produce.Buffer Strips
A strip of land with grass or natural vegetation along waterways, lakes, and rivers that helps prevent pollutants from entering the waterwaysBuffers
A strip of land with grass or natural vegetation along waterways, lakes, and rivers.
A chemical compound that is necessary for plants to live and grow. However, too much carbon can affect the climate.Cellulose
The main tissue in plants. Depending on the plant, it can be very tough. It can be used to make paper and some fabrics.Climate
The long-term patterns of weather in a particular area or region. Temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and wind all impact the climate.Commodity Crops
Crops that someone grows or makes in order to sell it, not to use it themselves.Composting
Taking things like grass clippings and food scraps and piling them together to begin the process of decomposition.Conservation
Taking action to preserve something, especially a natural resourceConsumers
People who buy and use goods. The process of buying and using those goods is "consuming."Crop Rotation
Growing first one crop in a field, and then another crop on the same land. Crop rotation makes nutrients available for crops and confuses bugs and weeds.Crops
Plants that are grown and harvested to feed people and animals or to make other things people need.
Putting unused or waste products into recycling bins, compost bins, or garbage cans.Distribution
Getting the processed products to places where people can buy them, like grocery stores and farm markets.Diversified Farms
Farms that grow a variety of crops and/or livestock, rather than just one or two types.Decompose
A natural process that breaks down things like grass clippings and food scraps and eventually turns them into soil.Distributing
Getting processed products to places like grocery stores and farm markets.Distributors
The people and companies who get products from farms to consumers.
Process in which a liquid transforms into a gas.
Areas of land where plants and animals are grown or raised for food, clothing, and more.Farmer
A person who lives and works on a farm (also called producer). Farming is a career; farmers make money by selling their farm products.Fermentation
The process where a certain substance is broken down by bacteria, yeast, or other tiny organisms. One example is corn: Yeast is used to break down corn, and the corn becomes ethanol.Fertile
Soil that is rich in nutrients and can produce a large amount of healthy crops.Fiber
The raw material from plants and animals, like cotton and wool, which are used to make cloth, rope, and more.Fibrous Materials
Plants that contain a great deal of fiber. Examples include hay and grass. This can make them hard for humans to digest.Flume
A human-made water channel in which water is routed above the ground rather than through a ditch or trench.
Groundwater is the water found underground in aquifers.Growing Season
Period of the year that is warm enough for plants to grow.
Mixing the cream in milk with the thinner, watery parts so they stay blended together. If not homogenized, cream rises to the top.Homogenized
The process of breaking fat in milk into smaller droplets so they stay in the milk, rather than floating to the top to become cream.Hybrid
What something is called when a new product is created by breeding two different plants to make a new and improved plant. For example, plant breeders develop hybrids that can resist drought and produce greater yields. Hybrids also give us a variety of new products. One example is the SweeTango apple, a hybrid of Zestar and Honeycrisp apples.Hydrology
The study of water as a science.Hypoglycemia
Something that can happen to people with diabetes when their blood sugar levels are too low. It can be dangerous.
A person who moves from one country to settle in another.Industry
The businesses, organizations, and people that provide a particular product or service.Interdependent
Two or more people or things that depend on each other. This describes the relationship between farmers and people who need food and agricultural products.Irrigation
The methods used by farmers to water farmland.
Trees, shrubs, perennial plants, and annual plants used to decorate the outside of a home, business, or outdoor area.Livestock
Farm animals (including poultry) raised for food, clothing, and other products or uses.
When products are advertised in places like TV and radio ads, magazines and newspapers, and the internet. Marketing helps agricultural producers get people to learn about their products.Microbes
Tiny organisms that can cause fermentation.Mulching
Laying things like grass clippings, leaves, or straw in the empty spaces around plants. This helps prevent weeds from growing.
Natural and Renewable Resources
Resources that can be replaced or grown again if they are used. This includes things like trees and water.Natural Resources
Materials from the earth that humans use to consume or to make manmade products.Nitrogen
An important nutrient for plant growth. Plants use this to create amino acids, which are the foundation of protein.
Land used to grow fruit or nut trees.Organic
Crops that are grown without synthetic chemicals, and follow specific soil quality and (where applicable) animal-raising policies.
Milk is heated to kill germs and make it safe for people to drink. Heating the milk also slows the growth of bacteria so the milk does not spoil as quickly.Pasteurized
A process of heating milk to a certain temperature for a period of time in order to kill harmful bacteria.Photosynthesis
The process used by plants to convert energy from the sun into chemical energy that supports the plants.Pollutants
Something that introduces unclean elements into something else, especially water, soil, or air.Precipitation
Rain, snow, sleet, or hail that falls from the sky to the ground.Precision Farming
Using digital software, drones, and GPS systems linked to satellites to help farms be more productive and exact when planting crops, managing weeds and pests, and harvesting.Processing
Changing the raw materials into things we eat, wear, and use. For example, taking milk from a cow and changing it into yogurt.Producers
People who grow or develop goods to provide or sell to others. The process of growing or developing is called "producing."Production
Growing and harvesting plants or raising farm animals.
A basic material that has not yet been processed into something else. For example, corn on the cob is a raw material. Later that corn can be changed, or processed, into something like ethanol.Raw Milk
Milk as it comes directly from the cow.Rotational Grazing
The practice of moving cattle from one pasture to another to allow each pasture time to rest and regenerate.Runoff
Water that moves so fast the land cannot absorb it.
The time a product can stay in the store before it starts to lose freshness. Milk shelf life dates are printed on the cartons and bottles. The milk will still be fresh for a few days after the date shown. Shoppers need to check shelf life dates on the milk they buy so they know it is still good to use.Soil Types
All soil is not alike. Soils are different based on the amount of sand, silt, and clay particles present. This is called soil texture. The soil texture affects the soil's ability to hold moisture, nutrients, and air. These factors influence the conditions needed for plant growth.Specialized Farms
Those that grow mainly one crop.Stewards
People who manage or take care of things, including protecting the environment.Stewardship
Taking good care of something, like natural resources.Strip Cropping
A method of farming that alternates types of crops through a field in narrow strips, often to prevent soil erosion.Subsistence Farmers
Farmers who grow just enough food to feed themselves and their animals, and sometimes a little extra to use for trading and bartering.Surface Water
Water on the surface of the Earth, such as lakes, ponds, and streams.Sustainable Practices
Techniques for farming that protect soil, water, and air quality.
The physical features of an outdoor area. This includes elevation, slope, vegetation, and surface material. Terrain affects water movement and how water drains. It can also affect weather and climate patterns.Tillage
Preparing land for farming by digging, stirring, or overturning soil in order to provide an environment that’s best for proper seed germination.Transpiration
The process where moisture travels through a plant, with much of it eventually evaporating.Turf
The upper surface of soil that is made up of grass and plant roots.
Variable Rate Application
A process in which technology is used to help farmers determine where specifically they do or do not need fertilizer or soil nutrients.