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Topping is a process by which a mower or similar implement is used to "top", or remove, the aerial part of a crop, in order to prevent seed formation and distribution onto the soil. Typically, a set-aside cover crop is topped in July or August, to prevent seed production and subsequent soil contamination leading to germination and regrowth. For example, controlling the spread of Soft rush or Juncus Effusus on wet land, such as Purple Moor and Rush Pastures.
A variation of topping is often employed in order to create a more stout and bushy plant, one that is suitable for thriving indoors.
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An annual plant is a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seeds, within one growing season, and then dies. The length of growing seasons and period in which they take place vary according to geographical location, and may not correspond to the four traditional seasonal divisions of the year. With respect to the traditional seasons annual plants are generally categorized into summer annuals and winter annuals. Summer annuals germinate during spring or early summer and mature by autumn of the same year. Winter annuals germinate during the autumn and mature during the spring or summer of the following calendar year.
Tillage is the agricultural preparation of soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning. Examples of human-powered tilling methods using hand tools include shoveling, picking, mattock work, hoeing, and raking. Examples of draft-animal-powered or mechanized work include ploughing, rototilling, rolling with cultipackers or other rollers, harrowing, and cultivating with cultivator shanks (teeth).
In agriculture, a harrow is an implement for breaking up and smoothing out the surface of the soil. In this way it is distinct in its effect from the plough, which is used for deeper tillage. Harrowing is often carried out on fields to follow the rough finish left by plowing operations. The purpose of this harrowing is generally to break up clods and to provide a finer finish, a good tilth or soil structure that is suitable for seedbed use. Coarser harrowing may also be used to remove weeds and to cover seed after sowing. Harrows differ from cultivators in that they disturb the whole surface of the soil, such as to prepare a seedbed, instead of disturbing only narrow trails that skirt crop rows.
Weed control is the botanical component of pest control, which attempts to stop weeds, especially noxious weeds, from competing with desired flora and fauna including domesticated plants and livestock, and in natural settings preventing non native species competing with native species.
Vegan organic gardening and farming is the organic cultivation and production of food crops and other crops with a minimal amount of exploitation or harm to any animal. Vegan gardening and stock-free farming methods use no animal products or by-products, such as bloodmeal, fish products, bone meal, feces, or other animal-origin matter, because the production of these materials is viewed as either harming animals directly, or being associated with the exploitation and consequent suffering of animals. Some of these materials are by-products of animal husbandry, created during the process of cultivating animals for the production of meat, milk, skins, furs, entertainment, labor, or companionship; the sale of by-products decreases expenses and increases profit for those engaged in animal husbandry, and therefore helps support the animal husbandry industry, an outcome most vegans find unacceptable.
In agriculture, cover crops are plants that are planted to cover the soil rather than for the purpose of being harvested. Cover crops manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity and wildlife in an agroecosystem—an ecological system managed and shaped by humans. Cover crops may be an off-season crop planted after harvesting the cash crop. They may grow over winter.
A mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of soil. Reasons for applying mulch include conservation of soil moisture, improving fertility and health of the soil, reducing weed growth and enhancing the visual appeal of the area.
The Three Sisters are the three main agricultural crops of various indigenous groups in North America: winter squash, maize (corn), and climbing beans. Originating in Mesoamerica, these three crops were carried northward, up the river valleys over generations, far afield to the Mandan and Iroquois who, among others, used these "Three Sisters" for food and trade.
Dryland farming and dry farming encompass specific agricultural techniques for the non-irrigated cultivation of crops. Dryland farming is associated with drylands, areas characterized by a cool wet season followed by a warm dry season. They are also associated with arid conditions, areas prone to drought and those having scarce water-resources.
Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. It is considered a pseudocereal, cultivated for its edible, hydrophilic chia seed, grown and commonly used as food in several countries of western South America, western Mexico, and the southwestern United States.
Harvesting is the process of gathering a ripe crop from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain or pulse for harvest, typically using a scythe, sickle, or reaper. On smaller farms with minimal mechanization, harvesting is the most labor-intensive activity of the growing season. On large mechanized farms, harvesting utilizes the most expensive and sophisticated farm machinery, such as the combine harvester. Process automation has increased the efficiency of both the seeding and harvesting process. Specialized harvesting equipment utilizing conveyor belts to mimic gentle gripping and mass transport replaces the manual task of removing each seedling by hand. The term "harvesting" in general usage may include immediate postharvest handling, including cleaning, sorting, packing, and cooling.
A seed drill is a device used in agriculture that sows seeds for crops by positioning them in the soil and burying them to a specific depth. This ensures that seeds will be distributed evenly.
In agriculture and gardening, a cold frame is a transparent-roofed enclosure, built low to the ground, used to protect plants from adverse weather, primarily excessive cold or wet. The transparent top admits sunlight and prevents heat escape via convection that would otherwise occur, particularly at night. Essentially, a cold frame functions as a miniature greenhouse to extend the growing season.
Vigna aconitifolia is a drought-resistant legume, commonly grown in arid and semi-arid regions of India. It is commonly called mat bean, moth bean, matki, Turkish gram or dew bean. The pods, sprouts and protein-rich seeds of this crop are commonly consumed in India. Moth bean can be grown on many soil types, and can also act as a pasture legume.
Juncus tenuis, the slender rush, is a clump-forming, round-stemmed perennial in the Juncaceae. Slender rush grows to be between 15 and 60 cm tall. Generally considered a weed, it is rarely sold by retailers as a household container plant. Where it is introduced, it is colloquially called path rush, field rush, slender yard rush, poverty rush or wiregrass.
A noxious weed, harmful weed or injurious weed is a weed that has been designated by an agricultural or other governing authority as a plant that is injurious to agricultural or horticultural crops, natural habitats or ecosystems, or humans or livestock. They may also be termed invasive plants. Most noxious weeds have been introduced into an ecosystem by ignorance, mismanagement, or accident. Some noxious weeds are native. Typically they are plants that grow aggressively, multiply quickly without natural controls, and display adverse effects through contact or ingestion. Noxious weeds are a large problem in many parts of the world, greatly affecting areas of agriculture, forest management, nature reserves, parks and other open space.
A weed is a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation, "a plant in the wrong place". Examples commonly are plants unwanted in human-controlled settings, such as farm fields, gardens, lawns, and parks. Taxonomically, the term "weed" has no botanical significance, because a plant that is a weed in one context is not a weed when growing in a situation where it is in fact wanted, and where one species of plant is a valuable crop plant, another species in the same genus might be a serious weed, such as a wild bramble growing among cultivated loganberries. In the same way, volunteer crops (plants) are regarded as weeds in a subsequent crop. Many plants that people widely regard as weeds also are intentionally grown in gardens and other cultivated settings, in which case they are sometimes called beneficial weeds. The term weed also is applied to any plant that grows or reproduces aggressively, or is invasive outside its native habitat. More broadly "weed" occasionally is applied pejoratively to species outside the plant kingdom, species that can survive in diverse environments and reproduce quickly; in this sense it has even been applied to humans.
Bensulide is a selective organophosphate herbicide. It is one of a few organophosphate compounds that are used as an herbicide. Most of the others are used as insecticides. It is used on vegetable crops such as carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and melons and in cotton and turfgrass to control annual grasses such as bluegrass and crabgrass and broadleaf weeds. It is often applied before the weed seeds germinate (pre-emergence) in order to prevent them from germinating. It is available as granules or an emulsifiable concentrate. Estimates place the total use of bensulide in the United States at about 632,000 pounds annually. Application rates may be relatively heavy when it is used. The EPA classifies bensulide as a general use pesticide.
AC Hazlet rye is a fall rye variety that was developed by Canadian breeder Dr. Grant Macleod of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. AC Hazlet rye is a medium-sized fall rye variety that is produced and distributed through SeCan, and is then grown in Canada
This glossary of agriculture is a list of definitions of terms and concepts used in agriculture, its sub-disciplines, and related fields. For other glossaries relevant to agricultural science, see Glossary of biology, Glossary of ecology, Glossary of environmental science, and Glossary of botany.