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Abandoned Wells: Abandoned drainage wells and abandoned water wells on vacant farmsteads are of particular concern fo
Acid Deposition: Abnormally acidic (low ph) precipitation (or dry deposition) resulting from emissions of sulfur and
Acquired Lands: Lands in federal ownership that were obtained by the federal government through purchase, condemnati
Acre: 1 acre=43,560 sq. Ft.=208.7 ft.2 =0.405 hectares: or 640 acres=1 sq. Mile (called a section).
Acre-Foot: The volume of water that would cover one acre of land (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot, e
Acreage Allotment: Under provisions of permanent commodity price support law, a farm’s acreage allotment is its share
Acreage Base (Or Base Acres): A farm’s average planted acreage for a specific crop over the previous five years (for wheat or fe
Acreage Conservation Reserve: The cropland acreage diverted from production under the acreage reduction program.
Acreage Diversion Programs: Historically, commodity programs included provisions to reduce commodity supplies by diverting acrea
Acreage Limitation: With respect to commodity policy, acreage limitation might refer to planting constraints under an ac
Acreage Reduction Program (ARP): A no longer authorized annual cropland retirement program for wheat, feed grains, cotton, or rice in
Action Levels: As opposed to tolerances (which are established for pesticide residues occurring as a direct result
Active Ingredient: In any pesticide product, the component that kills, or otherwise controls, target pests. Pesticides
Actual Production History (APH): A measure of an individual farmer’s annual production of a commodity over a multi-year period. The
Actuarially Sound: The financial goal of any insurance program (including the federal crop insurance program) is to ope
Acute Toxicity: The ability of a substance to cause harmful effects soon after a single exposure or dose. Also, any
Ad Valorem Duty: A tariff expressed as a fixed percentage of the value of the imported commodity or product. Generall
Additional Peanuts: Peanuts sold from a farm in any marketing year in excess of the amount of quota peanuts (see peanut
Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) Pilot Program: A pilot revenue insurance program first implemented in 1999 by USDA on a limited basis. It allows fa
Adjusted World Price: As part of the upland cotton and the rice marketing assistance loan programs, USDA calculates and pu
Adjusted World Price (AWP): As part of the upland cotton marketing assistance loan program, USDA calculates and publishes, on a
Administrative Convergence: USDA in 1998 was developing a plan to consolidate the administrative functions (e.g., accounting, bu
Administrative Procedure Act: P.L. 79-404 (July 11, 1946), as amended, establishes, among other things, minimum procedural require
Adulterated Food: Generally, impure, unsafe, or unwholesome: however, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Fe
Advance Deficiency Payments: Initial payments (ranging from 30 to 50% of the total payment) made to crop producers when they sign
Advisory Committee For Trade Policy And Negotiations (ACTPN): A 45-member group appointed by the President to provide advice on matters of trade policy and relate
Aflatoxin: Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mycotoxin produced by two types of mold: aspergillus flavus and a
Agency For International Development (AID Or USAID): An independent agency of the executive branch, established in 1961, that administers U.S. internatio
Aggregate Measure Of Support (AMS): An indicator of the amount of domestic support for agriculture. As used in the Uruguay Round Agreeme
Agreement On Agriculture: The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture reached in 1994 and implemented in U.S. law by the Urugua
Agribusiness: Agriculturally related businesses that supply farm inputs (such as fertilizer or equipment) or are i
Agricultural Act Of 1949: P.L. 89-439 (October 31, 1949), along with the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, makes up the maj
Agricultural Act Of 1954: P.L. 83-690 (August 28, 1954) established a flexible price support for basic commodities (excluding
Agricultural Act Of 1956: P.L. 84-540 (May 28, 1956) created the Soil Bank Program (Title I of was called the Soil Bank Act),
Agricultural Act Of 1970: P.L. 91-524 (November 30, 1970) initiated a significant change in commodity support policy. This 3-y
Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) Of 1933: P.L. 73-10 (May 12, 1933) was the New Deal initiative to assist the farm sector during the Great Dep
Agricultural Adjustment Act Amendment Of 1935: P.L. 74-320 (August 24, 1935) made several important and lasting changes to the Agricultural Adjustm
Agricultural Adjustment Act Of 1938: P.L. 75-430 (February 16, 1938) was enacted as an alternative and replacement for the farm subsidy p
Agricultural Attache Counselor: An agricultural expert, employed by the Foreign Agricultural Service, on the staff of an U.S. embass
Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP): Administered by the Farm Service Agency, this largest and oldest conservation cost-sharing program p
Agricultural Credit Act Of 1987: P.L. 100-233 (January 6, 1988) was enacted in response to the severe financial crisis of the early-
Agricultural Credit Association (ACA): An institution of the Farm Credit System that has direct lending authority to make short-, intermedi
Agricultural District: A planning term which defines an area in which farming is the preferred economic activity. Districts
Agricultural Diversification: A system of farming that encourages production of a variety of plants and animals and their products
Agricultural Fair Practices Act Of 1967: This law (P.L. 90-288) was enacted to protect farmers from retaliation by handlers (buyers of their
Agricultural Market Transition Act (AMTA): Title I of the FAIR Act of 1996. It allows farmers who have participated in the wheat, feed grain, c
Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act Of 1937: This law reaffirmed the marketing agreements provisions of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 a
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS): A USDA agency that establishes standards for grades of cotton, tobacco, meat, dairy products, eggs,
Agricultural Pollution: Wastes, emissions, and discharges arising from farming activities. Causes include runoff and leachin
Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI): A program, administered by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, that inspects incomi
Agricultural Research Extension And Education Reform Act Of 1998: P.L. 105-185 (June 23, 1998) reauthorized and revised federally supported agricultural research, edu
Agricultural Research Service (ARS): A USDA agency employing federal scientists to conduct basic, applied, and developmental research in
Agricultural Stabilization And Conservation Service (ASCS): This was the USDA agency once primarily responsible for administering the farm commodity price and i
Agricultural Trade Development And Assistance Act Of 1954: P.L. 83-480 (July 10, 1954) is commonly referred to as 'PL 480' and 'Food for Peace.' The law establ
Agricultural Trade Office: The Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 directed the establishment of trade offices in major centers of c
Agricultural Zoning: A designation intended to protect farmland and farming activities from incompatible nonfarm uses. Ag
Agriculture And Consumer Protection Act Of 1973: P.L. 93-86 (August 10, 1973) was the 4-year farm bill that adopted target prices and deficiency paym
Agriculture And Food Act Of 1981: P.L. 97-98 (December 22, 1981) was the 4-year omnibus farm bill that continued and modified commodit
Agriculture In Concert With The Environment (ACE): An Environmental Protection Agency program, administered cooperatively with USDA’s Sustainable Agr
Air Pollution: Contamination of the atmosphere by substances that, directly or indirectly, adversely affect human h
Alar: Trade name for daminozide, a plant regulator and therefore classed as a pesticide, that makes apples
Alcohol: The family name of a group of organic chemical compounds that includes methanol, ethanol, isopropyl
Alien Species Prevention And Enforcement Act Of 1992: P.L. 102-393 (October 6, 1992) makes it illegal to ship certain categories of plants and animals thr
Allotment: In conjunction with commodity support programs, acreage allotments and marketing quotas serve to lim
Allowable Sale Quantity (ASQ): A forestry term defined in law as the maximum amount of timber that can be sold every year, forever,
Alternative Agricultural Research And Commercialization Corporation (AARCC): Originally established by the FACT Act 1990 as the Applied Agricultural Research Commercialization C
Alternative Agriculture: A systematic approach to farming intended to reduce agricultural pollution, enhance sustainability,
Alternative Fuels: Substitutes for traditional liquid, oil-derived motor vehicle fuels like gasoline and diesel. Includ
Ammonia: A pungent alkaline gas, a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen (NH3). It is formed naturally when bacte
Andean Common Market (ANCOM Or Andean Group): Formed in May 1969 by Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia under the Cartegena Agreement, which called
Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS): A USDA agency established to conduct inspections and regulatory and control programs to protect anim
Animal Damage Control (ADC) Program: Renamed in 1997 as the Wildlife Services (WS) program, it is an Animal and Plant Health Inspection S
Animal Drugs: Drugs intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in an
Animal Feeding Operation: Facilities where animals are kept and raised in confined situations: feed is brought to the animals.
Animal Identification And Traceback: Currently, the private marketing system, assisted by computerization of records, generally can trace
Animal Protein: Protein used in livestock feed that is derived from meatpacking or rendering plants, surplus milk or
Animal Unit: A standard measure, based on feed requirements, used to combine various classes of livestock accordi
Animal Unit Month (AUM): An animal unit month (AUM) is the amount of forage needed to sustain one animal unit, or its equival
Animal Welfare Act: P.L. 89-544 (August 24, 1966) was enacted to curb the theft and mistreatment of dogs and cats for ex
Antemortem: Before slaughter. As used in the meat and poultry inspection program, the term refers to the examina
Antibiotics: Chemical substances produced by microorganisms or synthetically that inhibit the growth of, or destr
Antidumping Duty: A duty or levy imposed under authority of Title VII of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930. Title VII states
Appraised Stumpage Price (Or Appraised Rate): On national forests, the Forest Service estimate of the market price for timber to be cut and remove
Aquaculture: The National Aquaculture Act of 1980 defines aquaculture as 'the propagation and rearing of aquatic
Aquifer: An underground geological formation, or group of formations, containing usable amounts of groundwate
Area Yield Options Contract: A contract entitling the holder to receive a payment when the area yield is below (above) the put (c
Arid: A relatively dry climate in which annual precipitation is less than 10 inches, which generally is in
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum: Established in 1989, APEC is a formal institution with a permanent secretariat located in Singapore.
Asian Long-Horned Beetle: A serious pest of hardwood trees in its native China that by 1998 had been found in 14 states in the
Assessment: Generally an automatic or mandatory deduction from a producer’s marketing receipts used to fund ac
Assimilative Capacity: The ability of a body of water to cleanse itself: its capacity to receive waste waters or toxic mate
Association Of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): A multilateral organization formed in 1967 by the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippine
Atrazine: A selective herbicide, widely used on corn. It is environmentally significant, since it was the seco
Attainment Area: An area considered to have air quality as good as or better than the National Ambient Air Quality St
Attractant: A chemical or agent that lures insects or other pests by stimulating their sense of smell. Attractan
Australian Wheat Board (AWB): A statutory marketing agency, which handles Australia’s domestic marketing of wheat and export mar
Balance Of Payments: An accounting statement measuring the value of goods, services and capital exchanged between a count
Balance Of Trade: The difference in value between a country’s merchandise imports and exports in a specified period.
Band Application: The spreading of chemicals over, or next to, each row of plants in a field, as opposed to broadcast
Bank For Cooperatives (BC): Lending institution within the Farm Credit System that provides credit to agricultural cooperatives
Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act Of 1937: P.L. 75-210 authorized acquisition by the federal government of damaged lands to rehabilitate and us
Bargaining Association: A farmer cooperative intended primarily to influence farm prices or other terms of trade between the
Barrows And Gilts: A barrow is a young castrated male hog: a gilt is a young female hog. Both are raised for pork. Mark
Barter: A form of countertrade in which goods having comparable values are exchanged under a single contract
Base (Or Contract) Acreage: A farm’s crop-specific acreage of wheat, feed grains, upland cotton, or rice eligible to enroll in
Base Period Price: The average price for an item in a specified time period used as a base for an index - such as 1910-
Base Property: For the Bureau of Land Management: land or water resources, owned or controlled by a holder of a gra
Base Rates: The minimum cash price for national forest timber to be cut and removed.
Basic Commodities: Six agricultural crops (corn, cotton, peanuts, rice, tobacco, and wheat) declared by permanent law a
Basic Formula Price (BFP): Calculated monthly by USDA, the BFP is the base price for all milk regulated by federal milk marketi
Basing Point: A geographical site used to establish fixed rates and/or prices for federal milk marketing orders. G
Basis: The difference between the current spot price (or cash price) of a commodity and the price of the ne
Basis Risk: The possibility of unexpected variation in basis and a resulting loss of expected revenue when a fut
Beef (Cattle) Price Index (BPI): An index of the weighted average annual price for beef cattle, excluding calves, for a 16 western st
Below-Cost Timber Sale: A timber sale from national forest lands in which the expected federal revenues are less than the es
Best Management Practices (BMP): A conservation practice or combination of practices designed to maintain agricultural productivity w
BICO Report: The Foreign Agricultural Service’s report of U.S. agricultural export and import data on Bulk, Int
Bilateral Trade Agreement: A trade agreement between any two countries. The agreement may be either preferential (the obligatio
Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act Of 1996: P.L. 104-210 (October 1, 1996) was named in honor of the late Congressman who was a champion of effo
Bio-Security; Bio-Terrorism: Bio-security refers to the policies, and measures taken, for protecting a nation’s food supply and
Bioaccumulation: The absorption and concentration of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and certain pesticides in plants
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD): A measure of the amount of oxygen consumed by natural, biological processes that break down organic
Biodiesel: Biodiesel is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as a pure fuel or as a fuel additiv
Biodiversity (Or Biological Diversity): In general, the variety and variation among plants, animals, and microorganisms, and among their eco
Biological Control: The practice of using beneficial natural organisms to attack and control harmful plant and animal pe
Biological Monitoring: Using living organisms to test the quality of either effluent to be discharged into receiving waters
Biologics: Immunization vaccines, bacterins, antigens, and antitoxins and other preparations made from living o
Biomagnification (Or Biological Magnification): The increase in the concentration of bioaccumulated toxic chemicals in organisms higher on the food
Biomass: The generic term for any living matter that can be converted into usable energy through biological o
Biopesticide: A pesticide that is biological in origin (i.e., viruses, bacteria, pheromones, natural plant compoun
Blair House Agreement: The November 1992 agreement between the United States and the European Union on export subsidy and d
Blend Price: Primarily used in the federal milk marketing order program. Represents the weighted average price of
Blended Credit: A federal export promotion program operated from 1983 to 1985 by the Foreign Agricultural Service. F
Blending: In grain marketing, the combining of two different qualities of grain in order to change the total v
Blue Box Policies: Direct payments, under the definition of 'production-limiting' measures as defined in Article 6 of t
Board Foot: A measure for lumber, equal to a 1-inch thick board that is 1 foot long and 1 foot wide in nominal d
Boll Weevil: An insect pest of cotton that is the subject of an Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service eradic
Bonus Commodities: From the agricultural perspective, these are commodities donated to domestic feeding programs that U
Botanical Pesticides: Pesticides whose active ingredients are plant-produced chemicals such as nicotine, rotenone, or stry
Bottom: Usually synonymous with 'vessel' or 'ship.' A ship of American registry may be referred to as a 'U.S
Bound Tariff Rate: The most-favored-nation tariff rate resulting from negotiations under the General Agreement on Tarif
Bovine Somatotropin (Bst): Also called bovine growth hormone, bst is a naturally occurring protein that has been genetically en
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE): Commonly known as 'mad cow disease,' BSE is a slowly progressive, incurable disease affecting the ce
Bovine Tuberculosis: A highly contagious disease of cattle that causes severe economic losses, especially in dairy herds.
Boxed Beef: Beef that a packer cuts into relatively small pieces, seals in vacuum packs, and ships in cardboard
Breastfeeding Promotion: Relates to activities required to be carried out by state and local agencies using federal funds pro
Broadcast Application: The spreading of pesticides or fertilizers over an entire area (see band application).
Broiler: A young chicken, usually 6 to 8 weeks old and 3 to 5 pounds, raised primarily for its meat.
Brucellosis: A highly contagious disease of cattle, goats, sheep, and swine that can be transmitted to humans (un
Bt: Bacillus thuringiensis is a naturally occurring soil bacterium commonly known as Bt. It is a biologi
Buffer Strips: Slender areas of permanent vegetation, often planted along the edge or the contour of a field, usual
Bulgur: Wheat that has been parboiled, dried, and partially debranned for later use in cracked or whole grai
Bulk Carrier: Refers to two types of cargo ships: the dry-bulk carrier and the liquid-bulk carrier, better known a
Bulk Commodities: Generally, high volume, low value unprocessed agricultural commodities, which are treated as though
Bureau Of Land Management (BLM): A bureau within the Department of the Interior that has exclusive jurisdiction over about 268 millio
Bureau Of Reclamation (BOR): A bureau within the Department of the Interior, whose mission is to manage, develop, and protect wat
Burley Tobacco: The main type of air-cured tobacco: a cigarette tobacco that together with flue-cured tobacco accoun
Bushel: A dry volume measure of varying weight for grain, fruit, etc., equal to four pecks or eight gallons
Business Incubator: A facility that supports the development and operation of a number of small start-up businesses. Ten
Cabotage: Trade or transport in coastal waters between ports within the same country. U.S. 'cabotage' legislat
Cairns Group: An informal association of 15 agricultural exporting countries, formed in 1986 at Cairns, Australia.
Call Option: A contract that entitles the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to purchase an underlying futu
Campylobacteriosis: A diarrheal disease often caused by the type of bacteria known as Campylobacteria jejuni (C. Jejuni)
Canadian Wheat Board (CWB): A quasi-governmental self-financed agency, established in 1935, that markets Canadian wheat, oats, a
Cancellation: Refers to an action taken under Section 6(b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide A
Capper-Volstead Act: P.L. 67-146 (February 18, 1922), with a bit of exaggeration, is sometimes called the Magna Carta of
Captive Supply: Products that manufacturers or processors own or contract to purchase for future delivery so as to h
Carbon Sequestration: Retention of carbon in ways that prevent or delay its emission to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
Carcass Weight: The weight of an animal after slaughter and removal of most internal organs, head, and skin. On aver
Carcass-By-Carcass Inspection: Usually refers to language in the federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Ac
Carcinogen: Any substance that produces or promotes cancer. This is a key consideration in evaluating the safety
Cargo Preference: The Cargo Preference Act (P.L. 83-664) requires that whenever the federal government pays for equipm
Cargo Preference Act: P.L. 83-644 (August 26, 1954), as amended, contains permanent legislation concerning the transportat
Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act Of 1983 (CBERA): P.L. 98-67 (August 5, 1983), Title II, authorized unilateral preferential trade and tax benefits for
Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI): A permanent program designed to increase private investment, trade, and tourism in Caribbean countri
Carrier: An inert material added to an active ingredient in a pesticide to enhance its delivery or effectiven
Carrying Capacity: The maximum stocking rate for livestock possible without damaging vegetation or related resources. C
Carryover: The supply of a farm commodity not yet used at the end of a marketing year and carried over into the
Cartel: An alliance or arrangement among industrial or commercial enterprises or nations aimed at limiting c
Casein: The major portion of milk protein, manufactured from skim milk and used in processed foods (such as
Cash Commodity: The physical or actual commodity as distinguished from the futures contract. Sometimes called spot c
Cash Grain Farm: A farm where corn, grain sorghum, small grains, soybeans, or field peas and beans account for at lea
Cash In Lieu Of Commodities: Refers to cash provided to food program operators (e.g., elderly nutrition programs, child care food
Cash Market: The market for the cash commodity (as contrasted to a futures contract), taking the form of - (1) an
Cash Price: The price in the marketplace for actual cash or spot commodities to be delivered via customary marke
Cash Settlement: A method of settling certain futures contracts or option contracts whereby the seller (or short posi
Catastrophic Crop Insurance (CAT): A component of the federal crop insurance program, authorized by the Federal Crop Insurance Reform A
Cattle Cycle: The approximately 10-year period in which the number of U.S. beef cattle is alternatively expanded a
Census Of Agriculture: A comprehensive set of quantitative information on the agricultural sector of the U.S. economy, brok
Center For Food Safety And Applied Nutrition (CFSAN): The agency within the Food and Drug Administration responsible for developing and overseeing enforce
Center For Veterinary Medicine: An agency within the Food and Drug Administration that is responsible for assuring that all animal d
Center Pivot Irrigation: A self-propelled irrigation system in which a single pipeline supported on towers rotates around a c
Centers For Disease Control (CDC) And Prevention: An agency within the Food and Drug Administration that monitors and investigates food borne disease
Central And Eastern European Countries (CEEC): A term for the group of countries including Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland,
Certificates (Commodity): Legal instruments, entitling a qualified bearer to a specific dollar value of USDA surplus commoditi
Channelization: Engineering watercourses by straightening, widening, or deepening them so water will move faster. Wh
Check-Off Program: Usually, a reference to the generic research and commodity promotion programs for farm products that
Chemigation: The application of a pesticide and/or fertilizer through any irrigation system. This delivery techni
Chemosterilant: A chemical that controls pests by preventing reproduction, thereby causing the population to collaps
Child And Adult Care Food Program (CACFP): This child nutrition program provides cash and commodity assistance to support meal service programs
Child Nutrition Act Of 1966: P.L. 89-642 (October 11, 1966) was an anti-hunger initiative begun by the Johnson Administration as
Child Nutrition Programs: A grouping of programs funded by the federal government to support meal and milk service programs fo
Chlorinated Hydrocarbons: Also known as organochlorines, these synthetic organic compounds contain chlorine. They tend to be p
Chlorophenoxy Herbicides: A class of pesticides that includes 2,4-D. They mimic plant hormones. Uses of some have been cancele
Cholinesterase Inhibitors: A class of chemicals that includes numerous insecticides, such as parathion or carbaryl. They inhibi
Chronic Toxicity: The capacity of a substance to cause long-term or delayed adverse health effects. For example, a can
Class I Differential: Under federal milk marketing orders, the minimum price a processor must pay for milk used for fluid
Class I Equivalency: The amount of less productive land in a water district receiving Bureau of Reclamation water (Classe
Class I Land: Under reclamation law, Class I land is defined as irrigable land within a particular agricultural ec
Class I Railroad: Any railroad with annual gross revenues of at least $250 million (in 1991), according to the U.S. De
Classified Pricing: The pricing system of federal milk marketing orders, under which milk processors pay into a pool for
Clayton Act: A 1914 law that supplemented the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 by clarifying market activities (inc
Clean Air Act: The primary federal law governing efforts to control air pollution. Federal legislation addressing a
Clean Water Act: This is the principal law governing pollution of the nation’s rivers, lakes, estuaries, and coasta
Coastal Zone Management Program: P.L. 92-583 (October 27, 1972) created the Coastal Zone Management Program in 1972 to provide grants
Cobank: National Bank for Cooperatives.
Code Of Federal Regulations (CFR): The codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executi
Codex Alimentarius Commission: A joint commission of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization,
Coliform Index: A rating of the purity of water based on a count of fecal coliform bacteria. The presence of fecal c
Colonia: A substandard housing area defined in the Housing Act of 1949 as any identifiable community that: (1
Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act: P.L. 93-320 (June 24, 1974), and the laws authorizing three other conservation cost-sharing programs
Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program: This program was authorized in the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act and was repealed and re
Combine: A self-propelled grain harvester. In one operation it combines cutting, threshing, separation, clean
Commission On 21st Century Production Agriculture: An 11-member panel authorized by Title I-G of the FAIR Act (P.L. 104-127) to conduct a comprehensive
Commodity Assistance Program: A title often used to refer to a variety of domestic programs receiving food in the form of USDA sup
Commodity Certificates: Payments issued by the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) in lieu of cash payments to participants i
Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC): A wholly owned government corporation created in 1933 to stabilize, support, and protect farm income
Commodity Distribution: Direct donation of food products by the federal government to needy persons, schools, and institutio
Commodity Distribution Program: This program supplies authority for the Secretary of Agriculture to use agricultural surplus removal
Commodity Distribution Reform Act And WIC Amendments Of 1987: P.L. 100-237 (January 8, 1988) established a free-standing law requiring the USDA to improve the dis
Commodity Exchange: An organization operating under a set of bylaws aimed at promoting trade in one or more commodities
Commodity Exchange Authority: A former regulatory agency of USDA established to administer the Commodity Exchange Act prior to 197
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): The independent federal regulatory agency established by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Ac
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Act Of 1974: P.L. 93-463 (October 23, 1974) created the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to replace the U.S.
Commodity Import Programs (Cips): The U.S. Agency for International Development uses a small portion of U.S. foreign aid funds to make
Commodity Letters Of Credit (CLOC): Food instruments issued in lieu of commodities to certain designated schools participating in the Na
Commodity Loan Rates: Price per unit (pound, bushel, bale, or hundredweight) at which the CCC provides nonrecourse loans t
Commodity Programs: This term is usually meant to include the commodity price and income support programs administered b
Commodity Promotion Programs: Programs that advertise and promote an agricultural commodity or product without reference to the sp
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP): The CSFP provides funding for monthly food packages consisting of USDA commodities (juice, egg mix,
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): The set of legislation and practices jointly adopted by the nations of the European Union (EU) in or
Common External Tariff (CXT): A tariff rate applied by a regional grouping of countries as a unit. For example, the European Commu
Commonwealth Of Independent States (CIS): A formal association of states comprising the republics formed out of the former Soviet Union, with
Community Development Corporation (CDC): Tax-exempt, non-profit organizations whose primary mission is the economic and social revitalization
Community Facilities Program (CFP): Administered by the Rural Housing Service of USDA, the CFP provides grants, loans, and loan guarante
Community Food Projects: A program administered by the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service providing
Comparative Advantage: Refers to the economic theory that in international trade it is more advantageous for a country to d
Competitive Advantage: A situation in which one country, region, or producer can produce a particular commodity more cheapl
Competitive Bidding (For WIC): With respect to the WIC program, refers to the method for containing program costs, particularly for
Competitive Foods (In Meal Service): Foods that may be regulated for sale in competition with the school lunch and breakfast programs und
Competitive Imports: A term used by the Economic Research Service in its reporting of agricultural trade statistics to de
Composting: The controlled biological decomposition of organic material, such as sewage sludge, animal manures,
Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation And Liability Act (CERCLA): P.L. 99-499 (December 11, 1980) is commonly known as the Superfund law. It is the principal federal
Con Act: Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act of 1961.
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO): Generally, a facility where large numbers of farm animals are confined, fed, and raised, such as dai
Concentration (Economic): A measure of the degree to which a few large firms dominate total sales, production, or capacity wit
Concessional (Export) Sale: A sale in which a foreign buyer is allowed loan payment terms that are more favorable than those obt
Conditional Registration: Under special circumstances, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) permits
Conjunctive Use: Water management methods. Usually used to describe the practice of storing surface water in a ground
Conservation: The management of human and natural resources to provide maximum benefits over a sustained period of
Conservation (Cross) Compliance: A provision originally authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985 that requires farmers who operate
Conservation Districts (Soil And Water Conservation District): A legal subdivision of a state government, with an elected governing body, which develops and implem
Conservation Easement: Acquisition of rights and interest to a property to protect identified conservation or resource valu
Conservation Farm Option Program: A provision of the FAIR Act of 1996 authorizes a pilot program for producers who receive production
Conservation Plan: A combination of land uses and farming practices to protect and improve soil productivity and water
Conservation Practice: Any technique or measure used to protect soil and water resources for which standards and specificat
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP): A sub program of the Conservation Reserve Program, CREP is a state-federal multi-year land retiremen
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): A program, created in the Food Security Act of 1985, to retire from production up to 45 million acre
Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA): CTA has been the central activity of the Natural Resources Conservation Service since it was establi
Conservation Tillage: Any tillage and planting system that leaves at least 30% of the soil surface covered by residue afte
Conserving Use Acreage: Farmland diverted from crop production to an approved cultural practice that prevents erosion or oth
Considered Planted: Refers to a provision of the Agricultural Act of 1949 that was used to implement the base acreage an
Consolidated Farm And Rural Development Act Of 1961: P.L. 87-128 (August 8, 1961) authorized a major expansion of USDA lending activities, which at the t
Consolidation: In agriculture and other economic sectors, consolidation usually is a reference to the trend from nu
Consultative Group On International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): An informal association of 56 public and private organizations that support 16 international agricul
Consumer Price Index (CPI-U): The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ general measure of retail prices (for goods and services) paid by
Consumer Subsidy Equivalent (CSE): A measure of the value of monetary transfers to consumers resulting from agricultural policies in a
Consumer-Oriented Agricultural Products: One of three broad categories of agricultural products used by the Foreign Agricultural Service to r
Consumptive Water Use: Water removed from available supplies without return to a water resources system, e.g., water used i
Continuous Inspection: USDA’s meat and poultry inspection system is often called 'continuous' because no animal destined
Contour Farming: Field operations (such as plowing, planting, cultivating, and harvesting) at right angles to the nat
Contract: Written or oral agreement spelling out the parties’ understanding of how a commodity is to be prod
Contract Acreage: Enrolled 1996 commodity base acreage under the FAIR Act of 1996 for wheat, feed grains, upland cotto
Contract Commodity: The commodities previously eligible for deficiency payments and now eligible for production flexibil
Contract For Future Sale: A sales contract under which a farmer agrees to deliver products of specified quality and quantity t
Contract Payments Under AMTA: Some $36 billion in payments to be made to farmers for contract crops for fiscal years 1996-2002 und
Contract Production: A form of vertical integration where a firm commits to purchase a commodity from a producer at a pri
Contract Sanctity: The concept that U.S. agricultural products already contracted to be exported should not be subject
Conventional Agriculture: Generally used to contrast common or traditional agricultural practices featuring heavy reliance on
Conventional Tillage: Tillage operations considered standard for a specific location and crop and that tend to bury the cr
Converted Wetland: Under the swampbuster program, these are wetlands that were drained or altered to improve agricultur
Conveyance Loss: Water loss in pipes, channels, conduits, ditches by leakage or evaporation.
Cooperative: An enterprise or organization owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services. In
Cooperative Extension System: A federal-state-local cooperative education system that provides continuing adult education based on
Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA): The Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 allows industry to enter into research contracts with go
Cooperative State Research Education And Extension Service (CSREES): The USDA agency that administers federal funds appropriated for agricultural and forestry research,
Cooperator Program: Officially known as the Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP). One of the agricultural export pr
Coordinated Review Effort (CRE): Food and Consumer Service reviews of the National School Lunch Program conducted in cooperation with
Corn Belt: That area of the United States where corn is a principal cash crop, including Iowa, Indiana, most of
Corn Gluten: A byproduct of wet milling of corn. Corn gluten is used as a medium-protein (20-24%), medium-fiber (
Corporate Farm: A form of farm ownership which is a separate legal entity from the owners of the farm. Changes in th
Cosmetic Appearance: Section 1351 of the FACT Act of 1990 defines the term as 'the exterior appearance of an agricultural
Cost Insurance And Freight (CIF): In general, c.i.f. Means that the seller’s price includes the cost of the goods, the marine insura
Cost Of Production: The average unit cost (including purchased inputs and other expenses) of producing an agricultural c
Cost-Benefit Analysis: A quantitative and sometimes qualitative evaluation of the costs which would be incurred by some act
Cost-Containment (For WIC): Refers to statutory provisions in the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 that require state agencies to con
Cotton Competitiveness Provisions: Provisions added by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to the cotton program
Cottonseed Oil Assistance Program (COAP): Along with the Sunflower Oil Assistance Program (SOAP), COAP was one of two programs under which bon
Countertrade: A trade transaction of goods and services without the exchange of money. Forms of countertrade inclu
Countervailing Duty: A charge levied on an imported article to offset the unfair price advantage it holds due to a subsid
Country-Of-Origin Labeling: Under Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, most products entering the United States mu
County Committees: Panels of three to five farmers, elected by other farmers, to oversee the local operation of commodi
County Executive Director (CED): The supervisor hired by the Farm Service Agency county committee to manage the day-to day activities
County Loan Rate: Nonrecourse loan rates vary from county to county to account for transportation cost differences to
County Office: Usually refers to the local office of the Farm Service Agency, where farmers go to conduct business
County Payments: Forest Service payments of 25% of gross revenues from each national forest to the states for use on
Cover Crop: A close-growing crop, planted primarily as a rotation between regularly planted crops, or between tr
Cow-Calf Operator: A ranch or farm where cows are raised and bred mainly to produce calves usually destined for the bee
Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD): A sporadic and rare, but fatal human disease that usually strikes people over 65. It occurs worldwid
Critical Control Point: An operation (practice, procedure, process, or location) at or by which preventive or control measur
Critical Habitat: Under the Endangered Species Act, critical habitat is an area essential to the conservation of a lis
Crop Acreage Base: A crop-specific measure equal to the average number of acres planted (or considered planted) to a pa
Crop Insurance: Insurance that protects farmers from crop losses due to natural hazards. Hail and fire insurance are
Crop Reports: Reports compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on various commodities that
Crop Residue: That portion of a plant, such as a corn stalk, left in the field after harvest. Crop residues are me
Crop Revenue Coverage (CRC): A form of revenue insurance that protects a producer’s revenue for an insurable crop whenever low
Crop Rotation: The growing of different crops, in recurring succession, on the same land in contrast to monoculture
Crop Scouting: Precise assessments of pest pressure (typically insects) and crop performance to evaluate economic r
Crop Share Rent: In contrast to cash rent, the tenant farmer pays the landlord a share of the crop. This arrangement
Crop Year: The year in which a crop is produced. This contrasts with the marketing year, which is the 12-month
Cropland: Land used primarily for the production of row crops, close-growing crops, and fruit and nut crops. I
Cross Compliance: A no longer used requirement that a farmer who participates in a price support program for one crop
Crush Spread: In the soybean futures market, the simultaneous purchase of soybean futures and the sale of soybean
Cultural Methods: Practices used to enhance crop and livestock health and prevent weed, pest or disease problems witho
Custom Feeders: Producers who provide the service of feeding animals (e.g., cattle, hogs) they do not own, in return
Customs Union: An agreement between two or more countries to remove trade barriers between each other and to establ
Dacthal (DCPA): A selective herbicide, trade name Dacthal, used especially on vegetables. DCPA and its breakdown pro
Dairy And Tobacco Adjustment Act Of 1983: P.L. 98-180 (November 29, 1983) was designated the Dairy and Tobacco Adjustment Act of 1983. Title I
Dairy Diversion Program: A voluntary supply control program authorized by the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983, und
Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP): A program that offers subsidies to exporters of U.S. dairy products to help them compete with other
Dairy Market Loss Assistance Program (DMLA): A program announced March 8, 1999, that makes direct payments to dairy farmers on the first 26,000 h
Dairy Price Support Program: The federal program that maintains a minimum farm price for milk used in the manufacture of dairy pr
Dairy Promotion Program: The Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983 authorized a national producer program for dairy prod
Dairy Termination Program: Also called the whole herd buyout, this program was authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985. Und
Data Call-In: A part of the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) process of developi
DDT: The abbreviated name of a chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticide, dichloro-diphenyl-trichloromethane. I
Dealer Trust: The Packers and Stockyards Act includes provisions aimed at protecting the financial interests of li
Debt-Asset Ratio: A financial ratio that measures the percentage of a farm operator’s assets that are financed by de
Decoupling: The concept of separating federal farm payments from the requirement that farmers produce specified
Deductions (Food Stamps): When calculating a household’s monthly food stamp benefit, food stamp rules require calculation of
Deferred Pricing: A cash forward contract that provides for determining price by formula at a later date. This also ma
Deficiency Payments: Direct government payments made to farmers who participated in an annual commodity program for wheat
Defoliant: A chemical that removes leaves from trees and growing plants: regulated as a pesticide.
Delaney Clause: The Delaney Clause in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) states that no additive shall
Delayed Pricing: A type of deferred pricing that provides for transfer of title before the price is determined and fi
Delivery: In settlement of a futures contract, the tender and receipt of the actual commodity, the cash value
Delivery Month: The specified month within which a futures contract matures and can be settled by delivery. Also ref
Delivery Point: A location where a commodity can be delivered to fulfill a futures contract.
Demurrage: The charge that a shipper may be required to pay for detaining a rail car (or water carrier) longer
Department Of Agriculture (USDA): USDA was originally established in 1862 and raised to cabinet status in 1889. In FY1997 it had an em
Department Of Agriculture Reorganization Act Of 1994: Title II of P.L. 103-354 (October 13, 1994) was designated the Department of Agriculture Reorganizat
Department Of The Interior (DOI): This cabinet-level agency, also known as the Home Department, was created on March 3, 1849 by an Act
Dermal Toxicity: The ability of a pesticide or other chemical to poison people or animals via skin contact. Many orga
Desiccant: A chemical agent that absorbs moisture: desiccants can be used to control certain insect pests or mi
Designated Uses Of Water: Water uses identified in state water quality standards that must be achieved and maintained as requi
Desired Future Condition: Used to describe the future condition of federal forests and rangeland resources that meet managemen
Desired Plant Community: The plant community that has been determined through a land use or management plan to best meet the
Developing Countries: A country with a low per capita income. Terms such as less developed country, least developed countr
Development Easement: A legal agreement by which a landowner surrenders the right to develop a designated parcel of proper
Dietary Guidelines For Americans: Dietary recommendations for healthy Americans age 2 and older about food choices that promote health
Dietary Supplements: Defined by law as a vitamin, mineral, herb, botanical, an amino acid, a dietary substance added to s
Diethylstibestrol (DES): A synthetic estrogen hormone. DES was used widely in the United States as a growth promoter in cattl
Differential Assessment: Basing the valuation of farmland for property tax purposes on its use for farming rather than on its
Dioxin: Any of a group of toxic chlorinated compounds known chemically as dibenzo-p-dioxins (or the most tox
Direct Marketing; Farmer-To-Consumer Direct Marketing: Any arrangement where the producer or his/her representative is selling his products directly to the
Direct Payments: Payments (usually in cash but sometimes in commodity certificates) made directly to producers in con
Direct Runoff: Water that flows over the ground surface or through the ground directly into streams, rivers, and la
Disaster Payments: Direct federal payments provided to crop producers when either planting is prevented or crop yields
Discharge: In water resources, the term refers to the flow of surface water in a stream or canal or the outflow
Disease Vectors: Plants or animals that harbor and carry disease organisms which may attack crops or livestock.
Dispute Settlement Body (DSB): The General Council of the World Trade Organization, composed of all member countries, convenes as t
Dissolved Oxygen (DO): The oxygen freely available in water, vital to fish and other aquatic life and necessary for the pre
Distance Learning And Telemedicine Grant And Loan Program (DLT): A program authorized by the FACT Act of 1990 to provide grants to rural schools and health care prov
Diversion Payments: Payments once but no longer made to farmers who voluntarily reduced their planted acreage of a progr
Dockage: A factor in the grading of grains and oilseeds: i.e., dockage in wheat is described as 'weed seeds,
Doctrine Of Prior Appropriation: Water rights doctrine adopted by most western states, giving the first person to use water from a st
Domestic Farm Labor: Individuals (and the family) who receive a substantial portion of their income from the production o
Domestic Price: The price at which a commodity trades within a country, in contrast to the world price. For those co
Double Cropping: The practice of consecutively producing two crops of either like or unlike commodities on the same l
Downer (Or Downed Animals): Commonly used term for animals that are disabled due to illness or injury. A longstanding issue is w
Drainage: Improving the productivity of agricultural land by removing excess water from the soil by such means
Drainage Basin: The area of land that drains water, sediment, and dissolved materials to a common outlet at some poi
Drainage Wells: Wells drilled to carry excess water off agricultural fields. Because they act as a funnel from the s
Dryland Farming: A system of producing crops in semi-arid regions (usually with less than 20 inches of annual rainfal
Dumping: Selling commodities in a foreign market at a lower price than in the domestic market. Under World Tr
Durum Wheat: A species of wheat distinct from wheat used to make bread and other bakery products. The hard, flint
E Coli: (Escherichia Coli 0157:H7) A bacterium that lives harmlessly in the intestines of animals such as ca
Easement: A landowner sells or surrenders the right to develop a portion of the property, usually in return fo
Economic Research Service (ERS): USDA’s in-house agricultural economics analysis and research agency. It employs about 600 people a
Economies Of Size: The concept that the average cost of production per unit declines as the size of the operation grows
Ecosystem: A functioning community of nature that includes fauna and flora together with the chemical and physi
Edward R. Madigan U.S. Agricultural Export Excellence Award: An award established by the FAIR Act of 1996 to recognize companies’ and other entities’ entrepr
Effluent: Waste, usually liquid, released or discharged to the environment. Generally the term refers to point
Effluent Limitation: An Environmental Protection Agency 'standard of performance' reflecting the maximum degree of discha
Elderly And Disabled: For food stamp purposes: 'elderly' persons are age 60 or older: and 'disabled' persons are beneficia
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Systems: Under an EBT system, recipients are issued an 'ATM-like' card and a 'personal identification number'
Elevator: A tall warehouse facility that uses vertical conveyors to raise or elevate grain, generally owned pr
Embargo: A government-ordered prohibition or limitation on trade with another country. Under an embargo, all
Emergency Conservation Program: A program administered by the Farm Service Agency to help farmers to rehabilitate farmland damaged b
Emergency Disaster (EM) Loan Program: When a county has been declared a disaster area by either the President or the Secretary of Agricult
Emergency Feeding Agency: This refers to an organization serving the food needs of the poor and unemployed that is designated
Emergency Food Assistance Act Of 1983: P.L. 98-92 (September 2, 1983) amended the original Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Act (TEFAA)
Emergency Food Assistance And Soup Kitchen-Food Bank Program (EFAP-Soup Kitchens): This program provides USDA commodities to emergency feeding organizations to help with the food need
Emergency Livestock Feed Programs: The USDA was given permanent authority by the Disaster Assistance Act of 1988 to implement an array
Emergency Wetlands Reserve Program (EWRP): Authorized in 1993 under emergency supplemental appropriations to respond to widespread floods in th
Emerging Markets Program: A program originally authorized by the FACT Act of 1990, and titled the Emerging Democracies Program
Emission: Waste released or emitted to the environment. The term is commonly used in referring to discharges o
End-Use Certificate: The North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act mandates end-use requirements for wheat a
Endangered Species: Species of animals or plants likely to go extinct in the foreseeable future unless current trends ar
Endangered Species Act (ESA) Of 1973: P.L. 93-205 (December 28, 1973), as amended, is one of the major federal laws protecting species and
Endocrine Disruptor: A chemical agent that interferes with natural hormones in the body. Hormones are secreted by endocri
Environment: The totality of the surrounding external conditions—biological, chemical, and physical—within wh
Environmental Assessment: Under implementing regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970, a document used by
Environmental Conservation Acreage Reserve Program (ECARP): An umbrella program authorized by the FACT Act of 1990 that includes the Conservation Reserve Progra
Environmental Equity- Justice: Equal protection from environmental hazards for individuals, groups, or communities regardless of ra
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): A document required of federal agencies by the National Environmental Policy Act for major projects
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): An independent federal government agency established in 1970 and charged with coordinating effective
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): A program created by the FAIR Act of 1996 to provide primarily cost-sharing assistance, but also tec
Epidemiology: Study of the distribution of disease, or other health-related conditions and events in human or anim
Equivalence: A term applied by the Uruguay Round Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS)
Erosion: The wearing away of the land surface. Unconsolidated materials, such as soil, erode more rapidly tha
Erosion (Erodibility) Index (EI): The erosion (sometimes called erodibility) index is created by dividing potential erosion (from all
Estuary: Regions of interaction between rivers and near-shore ocean waters, where tidal action and river flow
Ethanol: C2H5OH: the alcohol product of carbohydrate fermentation used in alcoholic beverages and for industr
Euro: The single currency of the 11 countries that are members of the European Monetary Union, one of the
European Community (EC): A regional organization created by the Treaty of Rome (1957), which provided for the gradual elimina
European Monetary Union (EMU): As agreed in the Maastricht Treaty, 11 European Union members began participating in the EMU on Janu
European Union (EU): Since 1993, the term used to describe the European Community and related institutions. The entry int
Eutrophication: The process by which a body of water acquires a high concentration of plant nutrients, especially ni
Evans-Allen Funds: Federal funds distributed to the 1890 land grant colleges of agriculture under a provision in the Na
Evapotranspiration: The loss of water from the soil both by evaporation and by transpiration from the plants growing in
Excess Land: Irrigable land, other than exempt land, owned by any landowner in excess of the maximum acreage limi
Exotic Species: A species that is not native to a region.
Expanded Food And Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP): EFNEP is a program of the Cooperative Extension System that operates in all 50 states and U.S. terri
Experimental Use Permit: A permit under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act that authorizes the testing o
Export Administration Act (EAA) Of 1979: P.L. 96-72 (September 29, 1979) provides legal authority to the President to control U.S. exports fo
Export Allocations Or Quotas: Controls applied to exports by an exporting country to limit the amount of goods leaving that countr
Export Credit Guarantee Programs (GSM-102-103): The Commodity Credit Corporation finances export credit guarantee programs for commercial financing
Export Credit Revolving Fund: The Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 authorized a revolving loan fund that would provide short-term
Export Enhancement Program (EEP): A program that USDA initiated in May 1985 under the CCC Charter Act to help U.S. exporters meet comp
Export Incentive Program (EIP): A federal export promotion effort operated by the Foreign Agricultural Service. Assistance is provid
Export Licenses: A government document authorizing the export of specific goods in specific quantities to a particula
Export PIK: A program used in the 1980s that made payment-in-kind to U.S. exporters as export subsidies for surp
Export Subsidy: A direct or indirect compensation provided by government to private commercial firms to promote expo
Exposure Assessment: Identifying the pathways by which toxicants may reach individuals, estimating how much of a chemical
Extension Service: Refers to a nationwide continuing education system that is based on the academic programs of the lan
Extra-Long Staple (ELS) Cotton: Also called American Pima, this cotton has a staple length of 1-3/8' or more, is characterized by fi
Extra-Long Staple Cotton Act Of 1983: P.L. 98-88 (August 26, 1983) eliminated marketing quotas and allotments for extra-long staple cotton
FACT Act Of 1990: Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990: the omnibus 1990 farm bill.
Failed Acreage: Tracts of properly-planted and managed crops that did not grow or were destroyed due to a natural di
FAIR Act Of 1996: Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996: the 1996 omnibus farm bill.
Fair Information Practices: A set of standards developed in the early 1970s to describe how information should be used and prote
Fair Market Value (FMV): The amount in cash, or on terms reasonably equivalent to cash, for which in all probability somethin
Fallow Cropland: Cropland left idle during the growing season, sometimes called summer fallow. It may be tilled or sp
Family Farm: As defined by USDA regulations, a farm that (1) produces agricultural commodities for sale in such q
Farm: As defined for purposes of the Census of Agriculture since 1978, a farm is any place that has, or ha
Farm Acreage Base: The total of the crop acreage bases (wheat, feed grains, cotton, and rice) for a farm for a year, th
Farm And Risk Management (FARRM) Accounts: A proposal that would permit farmers and ranchers to put aside money in good (higher-income) years w
Farm Bill: A phrase that refers to a multi-year, multi-commodity federal support law. It usually amends some an
Farm Credit Act Of 1971: P.L. 92-181 (December 10, 1971) recodified all previous acts governing the Farm Credit System (FCS,
Farm Credit Administration (FCA): The independent federal regulator responsible for examining and insuring the safety and soundness of
Farm Credit Banks: Institutions within the Farm Credit System (FCS) that make direct long-term agricultural loans secur
Farm Credit System (FCS): A network of cooperatively owned lending institutions and related service organizations serving all
Farm Credit System Assistance Board: A temporary board created by the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 and responsible for approving Farm
Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation (FCSIC): An entity of the Farm Credit System (FCS), established by law in 1987, to insure the timely repaymen
Farm Equity: The net worth of the farm sector’s assets (i.e., farmland, machinery, equipment, facilities, crop
Farm Income: Several measures are used to gauge the earnings of a farming operation over a given period of time:
Farm Income And Balance Sheet: The income statement measures the profitability of a farm business for a particular period of time,
Farm Inputs: The resources that are used in farm production, such as chemicals, equipment, feed, seed, and energy
Farm Labor Housing Grants: Section 516 grants are available through the Rural Housing Service to qualified nonprofit organizati
Farm Labor Housing Loans: Section 514 loans are available through the Rural Housing Service to qualified farm owners for the p
Farm Loan Programs Of The FSA: Loan programs, administered by the Farm Service Agency (replacing fmha), providing both direct and g
Farm Operating (OL) Loans: Subtitle B of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended, authorizes the Farm Servi
Farm Operator: A person who operates a farm, either by doing or supervising the work or by making the day-to-day ma
Farm Ownership (FO) Loans: Subtitle A of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended, authorizes the Farm Servi
Farm Price: The price that farmers receive for the commodities they market. Sometimes the term farm-gate price i
Farm Programs: This term is generally meant to include the commodity programs administered by the Farm Service Agen
Farm Service Agency (FSA): One result of the 1994 legislative reorganization of USDA was the consolidation of the ASCS, FCIC an
Farm Size: Although a standard definition is not available, the most common way to measure farm size is by the
Farm To Retail Price Spread: The difference between the farm price and the retail price of food, reflecting charges for processin
Farmed Wetlands: Under the swampbuster program, these are wetlands that were partially drained or altered to improve
Farmer Mac (Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation): Created by the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 as a federally chartered, private corporation respons
Farmer-Owned Grain Reserve (FOR): A program, established under the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977, designed to buffer sharp price mo
Farmers Home Administration (Fmha): Formerly an agency of USDA that provided direct and guaranteed credit to family-sized farmers who we
Farmers Market Nutrition Program: Authorized through FY2003 under Section 17 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, this program provides
Farmland: Land used for agricultural purposes. The federal government recognizes prime farmland and unique far
Farmland Protection: Programs, operated mostly at state and local levels by government agencies or private entities such
Farmland Protection Program (FPP): A program established by the FAIR Act of 1996 to fund the purchase of conservation easements of 170,
Farrow-To-Finish: Typically, a confinement operation where pigs are bred and raised to their slaughter weight, usually
Fast Track Authority: A legislative procedure that may be adopted by Congress for considering bills to implement trade agr
Fat Free Lean Index: One of several measures of hog quality (in this case, leanness) that can be used in determining valu
Fecal Coliform Bacteria: Bacteria found in the intestinal tracts of mammals. Their presence in water or sludge is an indicato
Fed Cattle: Animals leaving a feedlot, after fattening on a high protein ration, that are ready to be sold to a
Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation: An organization more commonly referred to as Farmer Mac, which is a secondary (resale) market for ag
Federal Agriculture Improvement And Reform Act Of 1996 (FAIR): P.L. 104-127 (April 4, 1996) was the omnibus 1996 farm bill that removed the link between income sup
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC): The wholly owned federal corporation within USDA that administers the federal crop insurance program
Federal Crop Insurance Reform Act Of 1994: This Act is Title I of P.L. 103-354 (October 4, 1994). Beginning with the 1995 crops, it modifies th
Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation (FFCBFC): An entity within the Farm Credit System (FCS) that manages and coordinates the sale of system-wide b
Federal Food Drug And Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) Of 1938: P.L. 75-717 (June 25, 1938) is the basic authority intended to ensure that foods are pure and wholes
Federal Grain Inspection Program: The grain inspection program administered by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administra
Federal Insecticide: P.L. 80-44 (June 25, 1947), as amended, is the basic authority that requires the Environmental Prote
Federal Land Bank Associations (Flbas): Institutions within the Farm Credit System that take applications for and service long-term real est
Federal Land Credit Associations: Institutions within the Farm Credit System (FCS) that have authority to make long-term real estate l
Federal Land Policy And Management Act Of 1976 (FLPMA): P.L. 94-579 (October 21, 1976) 1) set out for the Bureau of Land Management standards for managing p
Federal Meat Inspection Act Of 1906: Enacted June 30, 1906, as chapter 3913, 34 Stat. 674, and substantially amended by the Wholesome Mea
Federal Noxious Weed Act: P.L. 93-629 (January 3, 1975) was adopted to prevent foreign weeds from entering and becoming establ
Federal Plant Pest Act: P.L. 85-36 (May 23, 1957) prohibits the movement of plant pests from a foreign country into or throu
Federal Register (FR): Each federal working day, this federal document publishes current Presidential orders or directives,
Federal Seed Act: P.L. 76-354 (August 9, 1939) requires accurate labeling and purity standards for seeds in commerce,
Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program: Sometimes referred to in budget documents as Payments to States and Territories, the program provide
Feed Grain: Any of several grains most commonly used for livestock feed, including corn, grain sorghum, oats, ry
Feed Ratio: The relationship of the cost of feeding animals to their market weight, expressed as a ratio to the
Feeder Cattle: A steer or cow mature enough to be placed in a feedlot where it will be fattened prior to slaughter.
Feedlot: A confined cattle feeding facility where feeder cattle (usually less than a year old) are put on hig
Fertilizer: Any organic or inorganic material, either natural or synthetic, used to supply elements (such as nit
Field Office Technical Guide: A manual placed in all Natural Resources Conservation Service district offices and field service cen
Field Service Agency: Generally refers to any one of the following USDA agencies that administer programs and provide serv
Field Service Center: A centralized location for a variety of USDA agency field offices. These have been reduced in number
Filter Strip: An area of vegetation, generally narrow and long, that slows the rate of runoff, allowing sediments,
Findley Payments: Under the so-called Findley Provision authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985 (and first sponsor
Fire Ants: A South American stinging ant that has become established in southern states from North Carolina to
Fish And Wildlife Service (FWS): FWS, in the Department of the Interior, is the federal agency charged with managing and protecting t
Fish Farming: Usually, freshwater commercial aquaculture: catfish farms are an example.
Flex Acreage: The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 mandated that deficiency payments not be made on 15% o
Flood Risk Reduction Program: Provides for contracts for producers on farms that have contract acreage under Title I of the FAIR A
Flow To Market: A quantity provision in a fruit or vegetable marketing order that does not change the total quantity
Flue-Cured Tobacco: A type of cigarette tobacco, it and burley tobacco account for more than 90% of U.S. tobacco product
Fluid Differential: In federal milk marketing orders, the Class I differential is the amount added to the basic formula
Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Program: A national program authorized by the Fluid Milk Promotion Act of 1990 (Fluid Act) with the purpose o
Fluid Milk Promotion Act Of 1990: This is the designation given to Subtitle H of Title XIX of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and
Foliar Nutrient: Any liquid substance applied directly to the foliage of a growing plant for the purpose of deliverin
Food Additives: Any substance or mixture of substances other than the basic foodstuff present in a food as a result
Food Agriculture Conservation And Trade Act Of 1990 (FACT): P.L. 101-624 (November 28, 1990) was a 5-year omnibus farm bill. It continued to move agriculture in
Food Aid Consultative Group: A group created by the FACT Act of 1990 to review and address issues concerning the effectiveness of
Food And Agricultural Act Of 1965: P.L. 89-321 (November 3, 1965) was the first multi-year farm legislation, providing for 4-year commo
Food And Agriculture Act Of 1977: P.L. 95-113 (September 9, 1977) was an omnibus farm bill. It increased price and income supports and
Food And Agriculture Councils (Facs): These councils were instituted in 1982 by USDA to function as interagency coordinating groups on thr
Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations (FAO): A UN organization, founded in 1945, that collects and disseminates information about world agricultu
Food And Drug Administration (FDA): An agency within the Public Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services. FDA is a
Food And Fiber System: That sector of the U.S. economy that includes agricultural production and all economic activities su
Food And Nutrition Service (FNS): The USDA agency whose goals are to provide needy people with access to a more nutritious diet, to im
Food Borne Pathogens: Disease-causing microorganisms found in food, usually bacteria, fungi, parasites, protozoans, and vi
Food Code: The code, published by the Food and Drug Administration, consists of model requirements for safeguar
Food Distribution Program On Indian Reservations (FDPIR): This program allows Indian Tribal Organizations to operate a food distribution program as an alterna
Food Donations To Charitable Institutions: Donations of food by the Commodity Credit Corporation to help provide meals to needy people. Foods d
Food For Peace Program: A label given to the food donation activities carried out overseas under P.L. 480.
Food For Progress Program (FPP): A food aid program originally authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985 to provide commodities on
Food Guide Pyramid: A graphic developed by USDA as the consumer guide to implementing the dietary guidelines in their ow
Food Package: Generally refers to foods contained in the package of specific items provided to those participating
Food Power: The act of withholding or making available agricultural commodities for export or aid by an exportin
Food Safety And Inspection Service (FSIS): A 10,000 employee agency within USDA responsible for ensuring food safety in some 6,400 meat and pou
Food Safety Initiative: A 1997 interagency initiative among the Food and Drug Administration, Center For Disease Control, En
Food Security: Access by all people at all times to enough food for an active healthy life. Food security at a mini
Food Security Act Of 1985: P.L. 99-198 (December 23, 1985), a 5-year omnibus farm bill, allowed lower commodity price and incom
Food Security Commodity Reserve: A special reserve of up to 4 million metric tons of wheat, corn, sorghum, and rice to be used for in
Food Security Wheat Reserve (FSWR): Title III of the Agriculture Act of 1980 established a reserve of up to 4 million metric tons of whe
Food Service Management Institute: This institute provides instruction, research, and materials in support of better food service manag
Food Stamp Act Of 1964: P.L. 88-525 (August 31, 1964) provided permanent legislative authority to the Food Stamp Program, wh
Food Stamp Program (FSP): This program supplements the food buying power of eligible low-income households by providing them w
Food-Borne Illnesses: Illnesses caused by pathogens that enter the human body where food is the carrier. In order of the i
Foot-And-Mouth Disease (FMD): A major disease of cloven-footed animals (e.g., cattle and pigs) that does not exist in the United S
FOR: Farmer-Owned Grain Reserve.
Forage Value Index (FVI): A derived index of the relative change in the previous year’s average monthly rate per head for pa
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS): The USDA agency that administers agricultural export and food aid programs. FAS is also responsible
Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP): More commonly called the Cooperator Program.
Forest And Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act Of 1974 (RPA): Provides authority to the Forest Service to prepare and update an assessment every 10 years to inven
Forest Health: A term used for a collection of concerns over the alleged deterioration in forest conditions, includ
Forest Plans: Land and resource management plans for units of the National Forest System under the National Forest
Forest Service (FS): The largest USDA agency in terms of employees (about 37,000) with responsibility for administering t
Forestland: A classification of land use in the Natural Resources Inventory (NRI). It includes areas where trees
Forestry Incentive Program (FIP): Initiated in 1975 as an independent program and currently administered by the Natural Resources Cons
Forfeiture Penalty (Sugar): A penalty paid to the Commodity Credit Corporation by a processor of sugar beets or sugarcane who, h
Formula Funds: Federal dollars distributed to the land grant colleges of agriculture through formulas found in the
Formula Pricing: An arrangement where a buyer and seller agree in advance on the price to be paid for a product deliv
Forward Contract: A cash transaction common in many industries, including agricultural commodity merchandising, in whi
Forward Market: This refers to informal (non-exchange) trading of commodities to be delivered at a future date. Cont
Forward Selling: Forward contracting in which the price is fixed at the time the contract is entered.
Four-Firm Ratio: It is common to express the degree of concentration within an industry, including agriculture (that
Free Lunch: Refers to a federally subsidized meal (or snacks or half-pint of milk) that is offered under a child
Free Market: A system in which the market forces of supply and demand determine prices and allocate available sup
Free On Board (FOB): Indicates that the seller assumes all responsibilities and costs up to the specific point or stage o
Free Rider: In agricultural policy, the term generally refers to a firm or person who benefits from a collective
Free Stocks: Commodity stocks owned by farmers or others in the trade, rather than by those owned or controlled b
Free Trade Agreement Of The Americas (FTAA): A proposed multilateral agreement that would establish free trade in all products, including agricul
Free Trade Area: A group of countries that have removed trade barriers among the members, but each country may mainta
Freedom-To-Farm: A phrase that was used in the congressional arena to characterize the production flexibility contrac
Full-Cost Water: An annual rate for water delivered from Bureau of Reclamation facilities, which includes project con
Fumigant: A vaporized pesticide used to control pests in soil, buildings and greenhouses, and chambers holding
Fumonosin: A mycotoxin that can cause liver and brain damage in horses.
Fund For Rural America: A fund established by the FAIR Act of 1996 to augment existing resources for agricultural research a
Fungibility: The characteristic of interchangeability. Bulk commodities are generally described as fungible, wher
Fungicide: Any pesticide used to control, deter, or destroy fungi, which are forms of plant life (including mol
Furrow Irrigation: Small, shallow channels guide water across the surface of a leveled field. Crops are typically grown
Futures Contract: A standardized agreement calling for deferred delivery of a commodity, or its equivalent, entered th
Futures Price: (1) Commonly held to mean the price of a commodity for future delivery that is traded on a futures e
Gas Chromatograph - Mass Spectrometer: An analytical technique for identifying the molecular composition and concentrations of various chem
Gasohol: Registered trade name for a blend consisting of 90% unleaded gasoline and 10% fermentation ethanol.
General Agreement On Tariffs And Trade (GATT): An agreement originally negotiated in Geneva, Switzerland in 1947 to increase international trade by
General Sales Manager (GSM): General Sales Manager of the Foreign Agricultural Service. This office administers the export credit
Generalized System Of Preferences (GSP): First authorized by the Trade Act of 1974, GSP allows some 140 developing countries to ship more tha
Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS): A regulatory category created for a group of food additives that were exempted from the more rigorou
Generic Advertising And Promotion: The promotion of a particular commodity without reference to a specific producer, brand name, or man
Generic Certificates: Commodity certificates used by the CCC in the 1980s to meet payment obligations and simultaneously d
Genetic Engineering: The use of recombinant DNA or other specific molecular gene transfer or exchange techniques to add d
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO): A term, currently used most often in international trade discussions, that designates crops that car
Genome: All the genetic material in the chromosomes of a particular organism. USDA’s research agencies hav
Geographic Information System (GIS): Computerized systems used to compile, retrieve, analyze, and display spatially referenced data. Farm
Germicide: Any compound that kills disease-causing microorganisms. Germicides must be registered by the Environ
Gleaning: Collecting unharvested crops from fields or obtaining unused agricultural products from farmers, pro
Global Positioning System (GPS): A network of satellites that can be used by ground-based units to precisely determine their location
Good Manufacturing Practices (Gmps): Standards published in the Code of Federal Regulations and used by the Food and Drug Administration
Good Samaritan Laws: With respect to food and agriculture programs, these laws are designed to encourage the donation of
Government Performance And Results Act (GPRA): This 1993 law (P.L. 103-62) requires most federal agencies, including USDA , to develop and adhere t
Grade A Milk: Milk produced under sufficiently sanitary conditions to qualify for fluid (beverage) consumption. Al
Grade A Pasteurized Milk Ordinance: Minimum standards and requirements for Grade A milk production and processing are outlined in the Gr
Grades And Standards: The segregation, or classification, of agricultural commodities into groupings that share common cha
Grading Certificates: A formal document setting forth the quality of a commodity as determined by authorized inspectors or
Grain Inspection Packers And Stockyards Administration (GIPSA): An agency established in 1994 that combines the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) and the Pack
Grain Reserve: A phrase that might refer to the food security commodity reserve, food security wheat reserve, the f
Grange: The Order of the Patrons of Husbandry.
Granger-Thye Act Of 1950: P.L. 81-478 (April 24, 1950) established a new direction for some aspects of National Forest System
Grassed Waterway: A generally broad and shallow depression planted with erosion-resistant grasses, which is used to co
Grazing District: An administrative unit of BLM-managed rangelands established by the Secretary of the Interior under
Grazing Fee: A charge, usually on a monthly basis, for grazing a specific kind of livestock. For federal lands, t
Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI): A program started by USDA under its discretionary authority in 1991 and then specifically authorized
Grazing Permit-License-Lease: Official written permission to graze a specific number, kind, and class of livestock for a specified
Grazing Preference: The status of qualified holders of grazing permits acquired by grant, prior use, or purchase, that e
Grazing Privilege: The benefit or advantage enjoyed by a person or company beyond the common advantage of other citizen
Great Plains Conservation Program (GPCP): This program, initiated in 1957, provided cost share and technical assistance to apply conservation
Green Box Policies: Domestic or trade policies that are deemed to be minimally trade-distorting and that are excluded fr
Greenhouse Effect: The hypothesized warming of the Earth’s atmosphere as a result of increasing atmospheric levels of
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Gross domestic product is a measure of the total production and consumption of goods and services in
Gross Farm Income: The monetary and non-monetary income received by farm operators. Its main components include cash re
Gross Processing Margin (GPM): This refers to the difference between the cost of a commodity and the combined sales income of the f
Groundwater: The water from wells and underground aquifers. An estimated 95% of the drinking water used in rural
Group Of Seven (G-7): An international economic forum, established in 1975, for leaders of the seven largest industrial co
Group Risk Income Protection (GRIP): A county-based revenue insurance program, that is a variation of Group Risk Protection (GRP). GRIP p
Group Risk Protection (GRP): A form of crop insurance available in certain parts of the country that makes an indemnity payment t
Growing Season: The time period, usually measured in days, between the last freeze in the spring and the first frost
GSM-102 Intermediate-Term Export Credit Guarantee Program.: An Export Credit Guarantee Program that covers credit terms up to 3 years. The program underwrites c
GSM-103 Short-Term Export Credit Guarantee Program: An Export Credit Guarantee Program that covers credit terms up to 10 years. The program underwrites
GSM-5 Direct Export Credit Program: A federal export assistance program once operated by the Foreign Agricultural Service. Loans were ma
Guaranteed Export Credit: A Commodity Credit Corporation guarantee of commercial export credit is available through several ex
Gully Erosion: Also called ephemeral gully erosion, this process occurs when water flows in narrow channels during
H-2A: Refers to the provision in federal immigration law under which aliens can be granted temporary visas
Habitat: The place where a population (e.g., human, animal, plant, microorganism) lives, characterized by phy
Habitat Conservation Plans (Hcps): Plans prepared under the Endangered Species Act, by nonfederal parties wishing to obtain permits for
Handler: Generally, the first buyer of a farmer’s commodity destined for fresh market use (in contrast to p
Harmonization: The process of establishment, recognition, and application of internationally recognized measures or
Harmonized System: The international classification system for goods, implemented by most countries on January 1, 1998,
Harmonized Tariff Schedules Of The United States (HTS): This document, published and maintained by the U.S. International Trade Commission, provides the app
Hart-Scott-Rodino: The Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 establishes a notification and review proce
Harvested Acres: The cropland actually harvested for a particular crop, usually somewhat smaller at the national leve
Hatch Act Of 1887: The permanent statute (24 Stat. 440) authorizing federal funds to state agricultural experiment stat
Haying And Grazing Rules: Under previous commodity support law, farmers were permitted, for limited time periods (usually duri
Hazard Analysis And Critical Control Point (HACCP): A production quality control system now being adopted throughout much of the food industry as a meth
Head Month: A month’s use and occupancy of rangeland by a single animal or equivalent. A full head month’s f
Headwaters: The source, or upper part, of a stream. Often used in discussing water rights related to wilderness
Healthy Meals For Healthy Americans Act Of 1994: P.L. 103-448 (November 2, 1994) Amendments reauthorizing several expiring programs under the Nationa
Hectare (Ha): A metric measure of area equal to 10,000 square meters. One hectare=2.47 acres. One acre=0.405 hecta
Hedging: Taking a position in a futures market opposite to a position held in the cash market to minimize the
Herbicide: Any pesticide used to destroy or inhibit plant growth: a weed killer.
Heritage Rivers Protection Program: A Clinton Administration initiative to deliver federal resources more efficiently and effectively th
High Moisture Feed Grains: Corn and grain sorghum must have moisture content below CCC standards in order to qualify for market
High Value Products (HVP): Agricultural products that are high in value, often but not necessarily due to processing. Hvps can
High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): Produced from converting to fructose a portion of naturally occurring glucose in starch produced fro
Highly Erodible Land (HEL): Land that is very susceptible to erosion, including fields that have at least 1/3 or 50 acres of soi
Hog-Corn Ratio (Corn-Hog Ratio): Number of bushels of corn equal in value to 100 pounds of live hogs (feed ratio). Put another way, t
Holding Pond: A pond or reservoir, usually made of earth, built to store polluted runoff.
Homestead Protection: When a USDA farm loan borrower lacks the financial resources to make payments on a delinquent loan,
Honey Program: Non-recourse marketing loans had long been available to support honey prices until FY1994, when the
Honey Recourse Loan Program: A program authorized by the emergency provisions of the FY1999 USDA appropriations act (P.L. 105-277
Horse Protection Act: P.L. 91-540 (December 9,1970), as amended, makes it a crime to exhibit, or transport for the purpose
Horticultural Specialty Crops: The Census of Agriculture includes as 'horticultural specialties' bedding plants, florists’ greens
Household (Foodstamp): A food stamp household is composed of all those who purchase food and prepare meals in common. All r
Housing Act Of 1949: Title V of P.L. 81-171 (October 25, 1949) authorized USDA to make loans to farmers to construct, imp
Hundredweight: One hundred pounds (abbreviated as cwt.). A standard unit of measure for milk, rice, and some meat l
Hunger - Food Insecurity: An economic definition is the lack of food due to the limited or uncertain availability of nutrition
Hunger Prevention Act Of 1988: P.L. 100-435 (September 19, 1988) amended the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983 to req
Hydric Soil: Soil that, in its undrained state, is flooded long enough during a growing season to develop anaerob
Hydroponics: The growing of plants without soil by using an inert medium such as sand, peat, or vermiculite and a
Hypoxia: A low oxygen condition in the water that may occur where a nutrient-laden free-flowing body of water
Hypoxie Zone: An area in the Gulf of Mexico off the mouth of the Mississippi River covering about 6,000 square mil
Identity Preserved (IP): This is the designation given to bulk commodities marketed in a manner that isolates and preserves t
Import Duty: A customs duty is a charge assessed by a government on an imported item at its point of customs entr
Import Fee: Generally, an import fee is a charge assessed for a service rendered. For example, when an import st
Import License: A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of specified
Import Quota: A trade barrier that sets the maximum quantity (quantitative restriction) or value of a commodity al
Import Quotas: A quantitative limit placed on the importation of specific commodities. The protection afforded by q
Import Safeguards: A trade policy tool available to temporarily increase border protection for designated commodities a
Incentive Payments: Direct payments made to producers of wool and mohair, which were similar to deficiency payments made
Income Insurance: A concept, similar to revenue insurance, that envisions an insurance program that would insure farm
Income Protection (IP): A form of revenue insurance that protects a grower of an insurable crop whenever low prices, low yie
Income Support: Generally, programs providing direct, income-supplementing payments to farmers. Intended to protect
Indemnity Payment: The payment that eligible producers receive if they realize a qualifying crop loss under crop insura
Industrial Crops: Crops that primarily have industrial applications in contrast to food or livestock feed uses. Indust
Industrialization: When used in agriculture, this term generally refers to the consolidation of farms into very large p
Inert Ingredient: Pesticide components such as solvents, carriers, dispersants, and surfactants that are not active ag
Infant Formula Cost-Containment: Refers to statutory provisions in the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 that require state WIC agencies to
Infiltration: The downward entry of water into soil. Also called percolation. A high rate of infiltration means th
Infoshare: USDA established this program in 1993 to merge and coordinate the business management and informatio
Insecticide: A pesticide used to kill, deter, or control insects.
Instream Use: Water use taking place within the stream channel. Examples are hydroelectric power generation, navig
Integrated Farm Management Program (IFMP): A program authorized by the FACT Act of 1990 to assist producers in adopting resource-conserving cro
Integrated Pest Management (IPM): A pest control strategy based on the determination of an economic threshold that indicates when a pe
Integration: The combination (under the management of one firm) of two or more identical (horizontal) or successi
Intermediate Agricultural Products: Generally refers to agricultural products that have a higher per-unit value than bulk commodities: t
Intermediate Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-103): One of CCC’s export credit guarantee programs. See GSM-103.
International Commodity Agreement: An undertaking by a group of countries to stabilize trade, supplies, and prices of a commodity for t
International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA): Title II of P.L. 95-223 (October 28, 1977) grants the President authority to regulate a comprehensiv
International Grains Agreement (IGA): Replaced the International Wheat Agreement in 1995. The IGA comprises a Grains Trade Convention (GTC
International Grains Council (IGC): An intergovernmental forum responsible for administering the International Grains Agreement (IGA).
International Monetary Fund (IMF): A multilateral financial institution established in 1945 to help member countries with international
International Trade Commission (ITC): An independent, quasi-judicial federal agency that provides objective trade expertise to both the le
International Wheat Agreement (IWA): Replaced in 1995 by the International Grains Agreement.
Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC): The federal-state-industry cooperative body which manages the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.
Invasive Species: Alien (non-native) species of plants, animals, and pests whose introduction causes or is likely to c
IR-4: Inter-regional Project 4, also know as the Minor Crop Pest Management Program, is funded by CSREES t
Irradiation: The process of exposing food or other items to radiation of various wavelengths in order to destroy
Irrigation: Applying water (or wastewater) to land areas to supply the water (and sometimes nutrient) needs of p
Irrigation Return Flow: Part of artificially applied water that is not consumed by plants or evaporation, and that eventuall
Irrigation Water Management: Managing irrigation applications based on the water-holding capacity of the soil and the need of the
Joint Agricultural Weather Facility (JAWF): Created in 1978, the facility is a cooperative effort between USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Bo
Joint Agricultural Weather Facility (JAWF): Created in 1978, the facility is a cooperative effort between USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Bo
Jones Act: The common reference for Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which requires that all wate
Just-In-Time Delivery: An inventory control system that replenishes and delivers products to a retailer just as a current s
Karnal Bunt: A fungus disease of wheat that reduces yields and causes an unpalatable but harmless flavor in flour
Land Capability (Classification): The quality of soil resources for agricultural use is commonly expressed as land capability classes
Land Evaluation And Site Assessment System (LESA): A technique that can be used at the local level to determine the quality of land or agricultural use
Land Grant Colleges Of Agriculture: The Morrill Act of 1862 granted federal land to states to sell, and instructed each state to use the
Land Grant University: The term used to identify a public university in each state that was originally established as a lan
Land Management Services Contracts: A proposed national forest timber sale contract where purchasers would be required to perform activi
Land Treatment: Any activity or project to improve conservation of soil, water, or other resources and to improve pr
Land Trust: A private nonprofit organization, under § 501 (c)(3) of the federal tax code, that may receive dona
Land Use And Development Controls: Ordinances, resolutions, and controls enacted by local government under the authority of state enabl
Land Use Plan: A coordinated collection of data, programs, and activities related to existing and potential uses of
LD50- Lethal Dose - LC50-Lethal Concentration: The dose (median concentration) of a toxicant that will kill 50% of the test animals within a design
Leaching: The process by which chemicals are dissolved and transported through the soil by percolating water.
Legumes: A family of plants, including many valuable food, forage and cover species, such as peas, beans, soy
Levy: The USDA defines levy as an import charge assessed by a country or group of countries not in accorda
Limited Global Quota For Upland Cotton: A provision of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 that authorizes the President to proclaim an imp
Linola: A new form of linseed known by the generic crop name Solin, which produces a high-quality edible pol
Linters: The short fibers that remain on cottonseed after ginning. They are used mainly for batting, mattress
Listeria: Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogenic bacterium found widely in nature, can be carried in a variety o
Live Weight: The weight of live animals purchased or sold by a producer.
Loan Deficiency Payments: A commodity payment program authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985 that makes direct payments,
Loan Forfeiture: Under commodity program rules, a producer or processor who pledges a stored commodity as collateral
Loan Forfeiture Level: The lowest market price that a processor must receive before concluding that forfeiting pledged suga
Loan Rate: The price per unit (bushel, bale, pound, or hundredweight, depending on the commodity) at which the
London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR): The interest rate that major international banks charge each other for large volume loans of Eurodol
Long: (1) One who has bought a futures contract or option to establish a market position: (2) a market pos
Long Ton: A measure of weight equal to 2,240 pounds. By contrast, a short ton is 2,000 pounds: a metric ton eq
Low-Flow Irrigation Systems: These systems (drip, trickle, and micro sprinklers) provide water in small volumes and generally pro
Lump-Sum Sales: A common term for tree measurement sales.
Mad Cow Disease: The common term used for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
Major Land Resource Area (MLRA): Major land resource areas are geographically associated land resource units delineated by the Natura
Make Allowance (Or Milk Manufacturing Marketing Adjustment): The margin between the government support price for milk and the CCC’s purchase price for butter,
Mandatory Price Reporting: Currently, packers and processors are not required to report the prices they pay for the animals the
Margin: The amount of money or collateral deposited by a customer with a broker, by a broker with a clearing
Margin Call: (1) A request from a brokerage firm to a customer to bring margin deposits up to initial levels: (2)
Mariculture: The form of aquaculture where fish, shellfish, or aquatic plants are cultured in a salt water enviro
Market Access Program (MAP): MAP, previously called the Market Promotion Program, is administered by the Foreign Agricultural Ser
Market Allocation: A quantity provision in a fruit or vegetable marketing order specifying the maximum amount of the re
Market Basket: Average quantities of consumables, including U.S. farm foods, purchased per household for a given ba
Market Loss Payments: Term used in the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Appropriations Act, FY1999 (P.L. 105-277, Octobe
Market Price: The price per bushel (or pound or hundredweight) of an agricultural commodity paid in the private se
Market Promotion Program (MPP): An export promotion program authorized by the FACT Act of 1990 that replaced the Targeted Export Ass
Market Structure: Characteristics of an industry that relate to its economic performance, such as the number of buyers
Market Transition Payments: Referred to variously as AMTA payments, contract payments, or production flexibility contract paymen
Marketing Assessments: Producers and first purchasers of some supported commodities are required to pay an assessment as a
Marketing Assistance Loans: Nonrecourse loans made available to producers of wheat, feed grains, upland and ELS cotton, rice, so
Marketing Certificate: A certificate that may be redeemed for a specified amount of CCC-owned commodities. The certificates
Marketing Contract: Prices (or pricing mechanisms) are established for a commodity before harvest or before the commodit
Marketing Loan Repayment Provisions: A loan settlement provision, first authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985, that allows producer
Marketing Orders And Agreements: Orders and agreements (authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended) a
Marketing Quotas (Or Allotments): Authorized by the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, these quotas (sometimes called poundage quota
Marketing Year: The 12-month period, generally from the beginning of a new harvest, over which a crop is marketed. F
Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD): Loosely, the highest dose of a chemical that when administered to a group of test animals does not i
Mcintire-Stennis Act Of 1962: P.L. 87-788 (October 10, 1962) makes funding available to the state agricultural experiment stations
Medfly: A shortened name for the Mediterranean fruit fly, a destructive pest of fruits and vegetables that i
Mega-Reg: A term meaning a large set of regulations that some have used to describe the extensive new rules is
Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA): An agreement between federal agencies, or divisions/units within an agency or department, or between
Mercado Commun Del Sur (MERCOSUR): A customs union between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, which came into effect on January
Merchant Marine Act Of 1920: P.L. 66-261, also known as the Jones Act, provides for the promotion and maintenance of a U.S. merch
Methane: A gas created by anaerobic decomposition of organic compounds. Natural gas is composed mostly of met
Methanol: A liquid alcohol (also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol), formed in the destructive distillat
Methyl Bromide: A fumigant used for soil treatment, to control pests in postharvest storage, for killing pests on fr
Metric Ton: Usually abbreviated mt. Or MT, a metric ton is 2,204.62 pounds, compared to a short ton of 2,000 pou
Migratory Bird Treaty Act Of 1918: P.L. 65-186 (July 3, 1918), as amended, regulates the taking of wild birds and implements the provis
Milk Equivalent: A measure of the quantity of fluid milk used in a processed dairy product, usually expressed on a mi
Milk Marketing Orders: Administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service, federal milk marketing orders were first institu
Milk-Feed Price Ratio: A measure of the value of 16% protein ration (feed) to one pound of whole milk. As with the hog-corn
Minimal Nutritional Value: Refers to foods that may not be sold in competition with the school lunch and breakfast programs. Th
Minimum Access: In the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture, countries are obliged to provide minimum levels of im
Minimum Tillage: The minimum soil manipulation necessary for crop production. Conservation tillage, reduced tillage,
Minnesota-Wisconsin Price (M-W Price): A component of the basic formula price for farm milk used in federal milk marketing orders. It is a
Minor Crops: Crops that may be high in value but that are not widely grown. Many fruits, vegetables, and tree nut
Minor Oilseeds: Oilseed crops other than soybeans and peanuts: usually a reference to the other oilseeds eligible fo
Mitigation Bank: A bank is created when wetlands at a site are restored, enhanced or created in advance of destructio
Mohair Recourse Loan Program: A program authorized by the emergency provisions of the FY1999 USDA appropriations act (P.L. 105-277
Monetization: A P.L. 480 provision added by the Food Security Act of 1985 that allows private voluntary organizati
Monoculture: A pattern of crop or tree production that relies on a single plant variety.
Montreal Protocol On Ozone Depleting Substances: An international agreement, to which the U.S. is a signatory, for controlling emissions of chemicals
Morbidity: Rate of disease incidence: an important measure in epidemiological studies.
Morrill Act Of 1862: Enacted July 2, 1862 (chapter 130, 12 Stat. 503), this law allocated federal land to each state and
Morrill Act Of 1890: Enacted August 30, 1890 (chapter 841, 26 Stat. 417), this law authorized additional direct appropria
Most-Favored-Nation Treatment (MFN): A commitment that a country will extend to another country the lowest tariff rates it applies to any
Mulch: A natural or artificial layer of plant residue or other material on the soil surface. Mulch reduces
Multilateral Agreement: A trade agreement involving three or more countries (as with the World Trade Organization) in contra
Multilateral Trade Negotiations (MTN): Negotiations between General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) member nations that are conducted
Multiple Basing Points: A method of regional pricing in milk marketing orders that would allow more than one basing point, o
Multiple Component Pricing: The practice of valuing farm milk according to the value of its protein, fat, and mineral content. T
Multiple Use: According to the Multiple Use and Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (P.L. 86-517, June 12, 1960), as amend
Mutagen: An agent that causes a permanent genetic change in a cell other than that which occurs during normal
Mutual Self-Help Housing: A program to assist groups of low-income families in building their own homes. Each family is expect
Mycotoxins: Toxic substances produced by fungi or molds on agricultural crops that may cause sickness in animals
National Academy Of Sciences (NAS): An institution created by Congress in 1863 to provide science-based advice to the government. The si
National Agricultural Library (NAL): A national depository of scientific and popular agricultural information located at the Agricultural
National Agricultural Research Extension And Teaching Policy Act: Title XIV of Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 made USDA the leading federal agency for agricultural
National Agricultural Research Extension Education And Economics Advisory Board: A 30-member board established by the FAIR Act of 1996 to replace three previous advisory committees.
National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS): A USDA agency that collects and publishes statistics on the U.S. food and fiber system, with offices
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS): National standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency under authority of the Clean Air Act:
National Appeals Division (NAD): The National Appeals Division of USDA was established by the Department of Agriculture Reorganizatio
National Aquaculture Act Of 1980: P.L. 96-362 (September 26, 1980), as amended, is intended to promote and support the development of
National Bank For Cooperatives (Cobank): An institution of the Farm Credit System that provides financial services to approximately 2,000 agr
National Cheese Exchange (NCE): A now defunct private non-profit corporation that operated in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Every Friday mor
National Commission On Small Farms: A 30-member panel appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture in 1997 to examine the status and needs
National Drought Policy Commission: P.L. 105-199 (July 16, 1998), the National Drought Policy Act, authorized creation of the Commission
National Early Warning System: A program run by the Centers for Disease Control to increase federal support to state health departm
National Environmental Policy Act Of 1970: P.L. 91-190 (January 1, 1970) made a declaration of national environmental policy and established a
National Estuary Program: A program established under the Clean Water Act Amendments of 1987 to develop and implement conserva
National Farm Program Acreage: The number of harvested acres of feed grains, wheat, and cotton needed nationally to meet domestic a
National Forest: Originally, forest reserves, established by Presidential proclamation mostly between 1891 and 1909.
National Forest Management Act (NFMA) Of 1976: P.L. 94-588 (October 22, 1976) largely amended the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning
National Forest System (NFS): The 192 million acres administered by the Forest Service for multiple use: comprised of 155 national
National Grasslands: A type of unit designated by USDA and under Title II of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, permanen
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS): An agency within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the Department of Com
National Milk Laboratory Certification Program: Under a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments, the F
National Natural Resources Conservation Foundation (NNRCF): A nonprofit private organization established by the FAIR Act of 1996 to promote and fund innovative
National Nutrition Monitoring And Related Research Act Of 1990: P.L. 101-445 was enacted to establish a comprehensive, coordinated program for nutrition monitoring
National Organic Program: A program authorized by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (Title 21 of the FACT Act of 1990)
National Organic Standards Board: A board established by Title 21 of the FACT Act of 1990 to develop national standards for practices
National Partnership Office (NPO): The NPO is responsible for implementing National Rural Development Partnership policies and activiti
National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (NRI): Generally referred to as the NRI, this program makes grants to scientists at both public and private
National Resources Inventory (NRI): A periodic survey of status and changing conditions of the soil, water, and related resources on pri
National Rural Development Council (NRDC): This is the federal component of the National Rural Development Partnership. The NRDC comprises repr
National Rural Development Partnership: A collaborative effort comprised of representatives of the federal, state, local, and tribal governm
National Rural Economic Development Institute (NREDI): Helps develop the capacity of the National Rural Development Partnership and its constituent organiz
National School Lunch Act: P.L. 79-396 (June 4, 1946) authorized federal cash and commodity support for school lunch and milk p
National School Lunch Program: This child nutrition program provides cash and commodity assistance to public and private nonprofit
National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP): A program under which the federal Food and Drug Administration works cooperatively with the states,
National Wetland Inventory: An ongoing national survey of wetlands conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Service, primarily for sci
National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS): Consists of all of the National Wildlife Refuges, the Waterfowl Production Areas, and certain other
National Wool Act Of 1954: Title VII of Agricultural Act of 1954 was designated the National Wool Act and provided for a new an
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS): A USDA agency responsible for developing and carrying out national soil and water programs in cooper
NEC: The White House National Economic Council, which in 1998 began examining some aspects of mergers in
NEPA Analysis: Analyses conducted during the preparation of documents required under the National Environmental Pol
Net Cash Income: A farm’s actual cash receipts and expenses in a given year, regardless of the year the goods sold
Net Farm Income: The return (both monetary and non-monetary) to farm operators for their labor, management and capita
Net Income (Food Stamps): As relates to the food stamp program, net monthly income is an amount calculated for each food stamp
Net Pen Culture: A type of aquaculture where fish remain captive throughout their lives in marine pens built from net
New Zealand Dairy Board (NZDB): The New Zealand Dairy Board is a quasi- government corporation that was explicitly created by New Ze
Nitrate: The nitrogen ion, NO3-, is derived from nitric acid and is an important source of nitrogen in fertil
Nitrogen: An element found in the air and in all plant and animal tissues. For many crops, nitrogen fertilizer
No Net Cost: A provision requiring that a price support program be operated at no cost to the federal government.
No Net Cost Tobacco Act Of 1982: P.L. 97-218 (July 20, 1982) required that the tobacco price support program operate at no net cost t
No Net Loss Wetlands Policy: An overall policy goal for wetland protection first adopted by the Bush Administration, and more rec
No Observable Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL): From long-term toxicological studies of agricultural chemical active ingredients, levels which indic
No-Till Farming: A method of planting crops that involves no seed bed preparation other than opening the soil to plac
Non-Program Crops: Any agricultural commodity not covered by federal commodity programs. Program crops are wheat, corn,
Non-Road Emissions: Pollutants emitted by non-road engines and non-road vehicles, e.g., farm and construction equipment,
Nonbasic Commodities: Commodities other than basic commodities for which USDA is authorized to provide price support in pe
Noncompetitive Imports: A term used by the Economic Research Service in its reporting of agricultural trade statistics to re
Noninsured Assistance Program (NAP): Producers who grow a crop that is currently not eligible for crop insurance may be eligible for a di
Nonmoney Income: A statistical allowance used in farm income compilations to credit farmers with income for the value
Nonpoint Source Pollution: Pollutants that are not discharged or emitted from a specific 'point' source, such as a pipe or smok
Nonrecourse Loans: Farmers or processors participating in government commodity programs may pledge certain stored commo
Nonrenewable Resources: Nonrenewable resources, in contrast to renewable resources, do not naturally replenish themselves wi
Nontariff Barriers (NTBs): Any restriction, charge, or policy other than a tariff, that limits access of imported goods. Exampl
Normal Crop Acreage: The acreage on a farm normally devoted to a group of designated crops. When a set-aside program is i
Normal Flex Acreage: A provision of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 requiring a mandatory 15% reduction in
Normal Yield: The average historic yield established for a particular farm or area. Can also describe average yiel
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): A multilateral agreement negotiated by the United States, Canada and Mexico that sets forth agreemen
North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act: P.L. 103-182 (December 8, 1993) approved and implemented the North American Free Trade Agreement (NA
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS): Standard industrial classification codes have been replaced in the 1997 Census of Agriculture by the
North American Waterfowl Management Plan: An international program in cooperation with Mexico and Canada to protect, restore, enhance, and man
North American Wetlands Conservation Act: P.L. 101-233 (December 13, 1989), and amended in 1990 and 1994, authorizes a wetlands habitat progra
Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact: An agreement among the six New England States to support the farm price of milk used for fluid consu
Northern Europe (NE) Cotton Price: An average of the five lowest prices of several internationally-traded cottons (including cost, insu
Noxious Weeds: Undesirable plants that infest either land or water resources and cause physical and economic damage
NRSP-7: National Research Support Project 7, also know as the Minor Use Animal Drug Program, is the counterp
Nutrient Pollution: Contamination by excessive inputs of nutrient: a primary cause of eutrophication of surface waters,
Nutrition Assistance Programs: Federal programs in Puerto Rico and American Samoa that provide food assistance through block grant
Nutrition Education And Training (NET) Program: Authorizes grants to states for a nutrition education program targeting school children, teachers, p
Nutrition Guidelines: Federal guidelines established for meals served in child nutrition meal service programs governing t
Nutrition Labeling And Education Act Of 1991 (NLEA): P.L. 101-535 (November 8, 1990) mandated for the first time that most foods regulated by the Food an
Nutrition Program For The Elderly (NPE): This program, authorized under Title III of the Older Americans Act, provides (1) basic grants to op
Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA): The U.S. Department of Labor agency responsible for administering the Occupational Safety and Health
Ocean Freight Differential (Under P.L. 480): The difference between the cost of P.L. 480 shipments that are required to be carried on U.S. flag v
Ocean Ranching: A type of aquaculture, used mainly by the salmon industry, which cultures juvenile fish, releases th
Off-Farm (Non-Farm) Income: That portion of farm household income obtained off the farm, including nonfarm wages and salaries, p
Offal: The less valuable byproduct material from the preparation of a specific product: primarily refers to
Offer Versus Serve: Refers to the option children may have to refuse one or more items offered as part of a federally su
Office Of Migrant Education (OME): An Office of the U.S. Department of Education that works to improve teaching and learning for migrat
Office Of The Chief Economist (OCE): The Office of the Chief Economist advises the Secretary of Agriculture on the economic implications
Offset: Liquidating a purchase of futures contracts through the sale of an equal number of contracts of the
Offsetting Compliance: A requirement that a farmer owning multiple farms who wishes to participate in a crop program must c
Oilseed Crops: Primarily soybeans, sunflower seed, canola, rapeseed, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, peanuts and
Omnibus Consolidated And Emergency Appropriations Act 1999: P.L. 105-277 (October 21, 1998), among its numerous provisions that include the regular annual appro
Omnibus Trade And Competitiveness Act Of 1988: P.L. 100-418 (August 23, 1988) provided the President with negotiating authority for the General Agr
Open Position: Ownership of a fixed-price forward contract, especially a futures contract.
Option Premium: The amount an option buyer pays the option writer for an option contract.
Option Writer: A person who sells an option contract, receives the premium, and bears the obligation to buy or sell
Optional Flex Acreage: Under the planting flexibility provision of the Agricultural Act of 1949, as amended by the FACT Act
Options Contract: An option contract gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy (call option) or sell (
Options Contracts: A contract traded on a commodity futures exchange that gives the buyer the right without obligation
Oral Toxicity: Ability of a chemical to cause injury when ingested by mouth.
Orderly Marketing: Coordination of the total supply of a commodity in order to achieve sellers’ joint market objectiv
Organic: Chemically, a compound or molecule containing carbon bound to hydrogen. Organic compounds make up al
Organic Farming: An approach to farming based on biological methods that avoid the use of synthetic crop or livestock
Organic Foods: Food products produced by organic farming practices and handled or processed under organic handling
Organization For Economic Development And Cooperation (OECD): An international organization established by the United States, Canada and certain Western European
Organoleptic: Relating to the senses (taste, color, odor, feel). Traditional USDA meat and poultry inspection tech
Organophosphates: Insecticides that contain phosphorus, carbon, and hydrogen. They are cholinesterase inhibitors: some
Orthophotography: Aerial photographs that more precisely show the features of the landscape, including those that migh
Ozone (O3): A highly reactive molecule composed of three oxygen atoms. Environmentally, ozone is important in tw
P.L. 480 (Or Public Law 480): P.L. 83-480 (July 10, 1954), also called Food for Peace, is the common name for food aid programs es
P.L. 566: Public Law 83-566 (August 4, 1954), Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954. See water
Packer Concentration: The degree to which a few large firms dominate total sales within segments of the meat packing indus
Packers And Stockyards Act Of 1921: P.L. 67-51 (August 15, 1921) remains, in amended form, the basic authority for USDA to regulate mark
Paid Diversion: A program, repealed by the FAIR Act of 1996, under which farmers were paid to voluntarily take acrea
Paid Lunch: Refers to a federally reimbursed meal (or snack) bought by a child who does not qualify for a free o
Palmer Drought Index: A measure of the severity of prolonged periods (months or years) of abnormal dryness or wetness over
Parity Price: A measurement of the purchasing power of a unit of a particular commodity. Originally, parity was th
Parity Ratio: The ratio of the prices received index, 1910-14=100, to the prices paid index on a 1910-14=100 base
Particulates: The Environmental Protection Agency has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulates.
Partners For Wildlife: A voluntary partnership program administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service to provide financial a
Partners In Quality: An AMS documented quality assurance system for fresh produce packing houses. Those that incorporate
Pastureland: Land used primarily for the production of domesticated forage plants for livestock (in contrast to r
Pathogen; Pathogenic: Pathogens are infectious or toxin forming microorganisms causing disease. A food borne pathogen is a
Payment Limitation: The maximum annual amount of commodity program benefits a person can receive by law. Persons are def
Payment Quantity: The quantity of production eligible for production flexibility contract payments under the FAIR Act
Payment Rate: Generally, the amount paid per unit of production (i.e., bushel, pound, hundredweight) to each parti
Payment-In-Kind (PIK): In general, a payment made in the form of CCC-owned commodities (or title to them) in lieu of cash.
Payments In Lieu Of Taxes (PILT): A program administered by the Bureau of Land Management of the Department of the Interior to compens
Peace Clause: Term used to refer to Article 13 of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture which exempts certain
Peanut Poundage Quota: A peanut price support program supply control mechanism authorized by the Agricultural Adjustment Ac
Peanut Price Support Program: The federal program that supports the farm price of peanuts by offering price support loans to peanu
Percolation: The movement of water downward and radially through subsurface soil layers, usually continuing downw
Performance Based Inspection System (PBIS): A computer-based system used by USDA’s meat and poultry inspection agency, the Food Safety and Ins
Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) Of 1930: P.L. 71-325 (June 10, 1930), as amended, regulates the buying and selling of fresh and frozen fruits
Perishable Commodities: Farm goods that prior to processing cannot be stored for a substantial period of time without excess
Permanent Law: Legislation that would be in force in the absence of all temporary or short-term laws (e.g., farm bi
Permanent Vegetative Cover: Trees, or perennial grasses, legumes, or shrubs with an expected life span of at least 5 years. Perm
Permitted Acreage: The acreage on which a farm program participant is permitted to grow a program crop after satisfying
Persistent Pesticides: Pesticides that do not readily break down in the environment. Becoming long-lived components of the
Person: An entity defined by USDA as being eligible to receive federal farm program benefits, subject to ann
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act Of 1996: P.L. 104-193 (September 22, 1996) was labeled as a major 'welfare reform' initiative. In addition to
Pest: An animal or plant that is directly or indirectly detrimental to human interests, causing harm or re
Pest Resistance Management (PRM) Plans: To protect the continued use of biopesticides, the Environmental Protection Agency is requiring comp
Pest Scouting: Inspecting a field for pests, including insects, weeds, and pathogens. Pest scouting is a basic comp
Pesticide: A substance used to kill, control, repel, or mitigate any pest. Insecticides, fungicides, rodenticid
Pesticide Data Program (PDP): A program initiated in 1991 by the Agricultural Marketing Service to collect pesticide residue data
Pesticide Recordkeeping Program (PRP): Authorized by the FACT Act of 1990, the program requires that private pesticide applicators keep rec
Pesticide Residue Tolerance: The amount of pesticide residue allowed by regulation to remain in or on a food sold in interstate c
Pesticide Resistance: The evolutionary capacity of pests exposed to a pesticide to develop resistance to that pesticide. S
Pfiesteria Piscicida: A microbe that has been linked to massive fish kills in Maryland, Delaware and North Carolina. Some
Ph: An expression of the intensity of the basic or acidic condition of a liquid or of soil: the logarith
Phosphorus: An essential nutrient for plants and animals that is commonly applied to crops as a phosphate fertil
Phytoremediation: The systematic use of plants to treat environmental contamination. It is being investigated as a pot
Plant Hardiness Zones: The USDA has divided North America into 11 hardiness zones based on average annual minimum temperatu
Plant Quarantine: A technique for insuring disease (and pest) free plants by isolating them during a period while perf
Plant Quarantine Act: Originally enacted in 1912, this Act gives the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service authority
Plant Regulator: A chemical that affects the physiological behavior of plants, for example through accelerating or re
Plant Variety Protection Act Of 1970: P.L. 91-577 (December 24, 1970) was enacted to provide patent-like protection for new non-hybrid see
Plant-Pesticide: As proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (November 23, 1994), plant-pesticides are all sub
Point: A measure of price change equal to 1/100 of one cent in most futures contracts traded in decimal uni
Point Source Pollution: Pollutants that are discharged or emitted from discrete 'point' sources, such as pipes and smokestac
Pollution: Alteration of the environment, as through the introduction of hazardous or detrimental substances, h
Pork Bellies: One of the major cuts of the hog carcass that, when cured, becomes bacon. Futures contracts for pork
Posted County Price (PCP): This price is calculated for wheat and feed grains for each county by the Farm Service Agency. The P
Postharvest: Refers to activities in the food and fiber sector that occur after agricultural products are sold fr
Postmortem Inspection: As used in the meat and poultry inspection program, the phrase refers to the inspection that Food Sa
Poultry Products Inspection Act Of 1957: P.L. 85-172 (August 28, 1957), as amended by the Wholesome Poultry Products Act of 1968 (P.L. 90-492
Poundage Quota: A quantitative limit on the amount of a commodity that can be marketed (also called a marketing quot
Poverty Guidelines: These are monthly or annual income amounts that are used to help determine eligibility for a number
Poverty Thresholds: For statistical purposes (e.g., counting the poor population), the Census Bureau uses a set of annua
Prairie Potholes: A type of wetland that is at the center of a shallow depression characteristic of glaciated areas in
Precision Farming: Farmers use global positioning (GPS) technology involving satellites and sensors on the ground and i
Preferential Trade Agreements: Agreements among a group of countries to extend special trading advantages, usually tariff rates tha
Preharvest: Refers to activities on the farm or ranch that occur before crop or livestock products are sold. 'Pr
Preproduction Expenses: Expenses incurred prior to the period when a farm activity begins producing, primarily raising orcha
Prevented Planting Acreage: Land on which a farmer intended to plant a program crop or insurable crop, but was unable to because
Price Elasticity Of Demand: The relationship between the change in the price of a commodity and the corresponding change in the
Price Index: Current price expressed as a proportion to the same price in an earlier time period, commonly called
Price Support: Programs operated by USDA that are intended to raise farm prices when supply exceeds demand and pric
Prices Paid Index: An index that measures changes in the prices paid for goods and services used in crop and livestock
Prices Received Index: An index that measures changes in the prices received for crops and livestock. NASS currently publis
Prime Farmland: Land that is best suited to and available for the production of food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilse
Prior Appropriations: The system of water allocation used primarily in the arid western United States, where water is scar
Prior Converted Wetland: Under the swampbuster program, these are wetlands that were converted to cropland before swampbuster
Privacy (Information): The right to control the disclosure of personal information: often referred to as confidentiality, b
Private Voluntary Organization (PVO): A nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that provides economic and social assistance to people in
Producer Subsidy Equivalent (PSE): A measure of the value of monetary transfers to agricultural producers resulting from agricultural p
Production Contract: These contracts specify who supplies the production inputs, the quality and quantity of the commodit
Production Credit Association (PCA): Farm Credit System institutions that have direct lending authority to make short and intermediate te
Production Expenses: Measures the aggregate business cost of farming. The two main components are current farm operating
Production Flexibility Contract: A 7-year contract covering crop years 1996-2002, authorized by the FAIR Act of 1996 between the CCC
Productivity: A measure of technical efficiency, typically expressed as the added output for an additional unit of
Program Crops: Crops eligible for deficiency payments under commodity program provisions that ended in 1995. These
Program Yield: The farm commodity yield of record, determined, in general, by averaging the yield of a particular c
Projected Yield: The number of bushels (or pounds or hundredweight) per acre that, based on current weather estimates
Promotion Program: Any program by an approved commodity promotion board or marketing order, including paid advertising,
Prorate: A quantity provision in a fruit or vegetable marketing order that is intended to even out weekly shi
Pseudorabies: A disease of swine that can cause severe economic losses due to reproductive problems and fatal infe
Public Elevators: Grain elevators in which bulk storage of grain is provided for the public for a fee. Grain of the sa
Public Lands: As defined in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, public lands are any land and interest in
Public Rangelands Improvement Act Of 1978 (PRIA): P.L. 95-514 (October 25, 1978) defines the current grazing fee formula and establishes rangeland mon
Puerto Rico Block Grant: A federal nutrition assistance grant program provided in lieu of the regular food stamp program in P
Purchase Of Development Rights (PDR): The acquisition of property development rights through voluntary sale by the landowner to a governme
Purchaser Road Credits: Credits granted to purchasers of timber in the national forests in exchange for the construction of
Put Option: An option contract to sell a futures contract at an agreed price and time at any time until the expi
Qualified Through Verification: An AMS pilot program (since 1996) for the fresh-cut produce industry, enabling them to gain official
Quantitative Restrictions: Quantitative restrictions are limitations on the quantity or value of a product that may be permitte
Quarantine: A restraint on importation of certain animals or plants from areas where pests or contagious disease
Range Betterment Fund: Money collected from livestock grazing on federal lands and used for rangeland improvements. The Bur
Rangeland: Land on which the natural potential (climax) plant cover is principally native grasses, grasslike pl
Ratite: A family of large flightless birds that include ostriches, emus, and rheas, which U.S. farmers are b
Raw Agricultural Product: The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines this term as 'any food in its raw or natural state,
Reclamation: The process of rehabilitating disturbed lands, or converting unproductive lands to productive uses.
Reclamation Act Of 1902: P.L. 57-161 (June 17, 1902), as amended, appropriated the receipts from the sale and disposal of pub
Reclamation Fund: A special fund established by Congress under the Reclamation Act of 1902, as amended, for receipts f
Reclamation Law: The body of law beginning with the Reclamation Act of 1902 that governs investigation, construction,
Recombinant DNA (Rdna): The technique of isolating DNA molecules and inserting them into the DNA of a cell ('recombining DNA
Recommended Dietary Allowances (Rdas): Levels of essential nutrients that, on the basis of scientific knowledge, are judged by the Food and
Recourse Loan Program: Under the FAIR Act of 1996, recourse loans are available to producers of high moisture corn and seed
Recycle - Reuse: Minimizing waste generation by recovering and reprocessing usable products that might otherwise beco
Reduced Price Lunch: A federally reimbursable meal (or snack) served to a child who applies for and qualifies because the
Reentry Interval: The period of time immediately following the application of a pesticide during which unprotected wor
Referendum: In agriculture, referendum generally refers to a vote by farmers on whether to approve or disapprove
Regionalization: Countries generally have prohibited imports of a foreign agricultural product if it has been associa
Registrant: Any manufacturer or formulator of a pesticide who obtains registration for an active ingredient or p
Registration: The Environmental Protection Agency approval of a new pesticide for specific uses before it can be s
Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA): P.L. 96-354 (September 19,1964) requires federal agencies to consider the special needs and concerns
Remote Sensing: The act of detecting objects when the sensor is not in direct contact: commonly refers to using aeri
Renewable Resources: Natural resources, sometimes called flow resources, that replenish themselves within time limits tha
Repayment Contract: A contract between a water user’s organization and the Bureau of Reclamation by which the organiza
Reregistration: The reevaluation and reapproval by the Environmental Protection Agency of pesticides originally regi
Reserve Pool: A quantity provision in a fruit or vegetable marketing order that requires that some marketable supp
Residual Supplier: A country that supplies the world market only after importers have met their initial needs from pref
Resource Conservation And Development Program (RC and D): The RC&D program, initiated in 1962 under authority of Food and Agriculture Act of 1962 (P.L. 87-703
Resource Conservation And Recovery Act (RCRA): P.L. 94-580 (October 21, 1976), as amended, authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to regula
Resource Management Plan (RMP): A BLM planning document, prepared in accordance with Section 202 of the Federal Land Policy and Mana
Restricted-Use Pesticides: A pesticide may be classified for restricted use if it requires special handling because of its toxi
Return Flow: Surface and subsurface water that leaves the field following application of irrigation water. While
Revenue Assurance (RA): A form of revenue insurance that protects a grower of an insurable crop whenever low prices, low yie
Revenue Insurance: A crop insurance program that provides coverage to producers against lost revenues (or incomes) caus
Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE): Revisions to the universal soil loss equation implemented in the mid 1990s to more accurately predic
Revolving Loan Program: A program that uses the repayments of existing loans to make additional loans to qualified borrowers
Right-To-Farm Laws (Nuisance): Right to farm laws deny nuisance suits against farmers who use accepted and standard farming practic
Rill Erosion: An erosion process in which numerous small channels, typically a few inches deep, are formed. It occ
Riparian: Pertaining to or situated on or along the bank of a stream or other body of water. Often referred to
Riparian Buffer: A strip of vegetation along the bank of a body of water which slows the rate of flow of runoff from
Riparian Rights: The system of water allocation used in the humid eastern portion of the United States. Water may be
Risk Assessment: The qualitative and quantitative evaluation of risks posed to health or the environment that arise f
Risk Management: The process of deciding whether and how to manage risks. Public risk management requires considerati
Risk Management Agency: An independent office within USDA that is responsible for the supervision of the Federal Crop Insura
Risk-Benefit Analysis: Comparison of the short- and long-term risks to the overall societal benefits of an activity, chemic
Rodenticide: A pesticide used to destroy, control, or deter mice and rats or other rodent pests from damaging foo
Rotational (Intensive) Grazing: Pasturing system that allows short periods of heavy use, followed by a recovery period: it allows th
Roundup Ready Soybeans (RR Soybeans): Genetically engineered glyphosate-tolerant soybeans. Roundup is the trade name for glyphosate, a bro
RPA Assessment - Program: As required by the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, the Forest Service
Ruminant: An animal with a stomach that has four compartments, and a more complex digestive system than other
Rural: The Bureau of the Census defines the rural population (in contrast to urban) as all persons living i
Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS): One of three USDA agencies charged with implementing rural development policies and programs. The RB
Rural Community Advancement Program (RCAP): A program established by the rural development Title of the FAIR Act of 1996 under which USDA is aut
Rural Development Trust Fund: Authorized under the FAIR Act of 1996 the trust fund is used to distribute Rural Community Assistanc
Rural Electric Cooperatives: There are 874 electric distribution cooperatives and 60 generation and transmission cooperatives in
Rural Electrification Administration: The predecessor USDA agency to the Rural Utilities Service charged with administering certain teleph
Rural Home Loans: Section 502 loans are available through the Rural Housing Service to low- and moderate-income rural
Rural Home Repair Loans And Grants: Section 504 Loans and grants are available through the Rural Housing Service to lower income rural h
Rural Housing Preservation Grants: Section 533 grants are available through the Rural Housing Service for repairing and rehabilitating
Rural Housing Service (RHS): The USDA agency responsible for administering the housing programs including direct loans, loan guar
Rural Multifamily Housing Loans: Section 515 loans are available through the Rural Housing Service for providing rental housing for l
Rural Rental Assistance: Section 521 rental assistance available through the Rural Housing Service reduces out-of-pocket cash
Rural Utilities Service (RUS): An agency within USDA charged with administering activities that support rural telecommunications, d
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): P.L. 93-523 (December 16, 1974) as amended, is the key federal law for protecting public water syste
Safe Meat And Poultry Inspection Panel: A permanent advisory panel that could be created under a provision of the FAIR Act of 1996. The pane
Sales For Local Currencies: A provision of P.L. 480 that permits a portion of commercial sales (under Title I) to be repaid in t
Salmonella: A pathogenic, diarrhea-producing bacterium that is the leading cause of human food borne illness amo
Salvage Rider: Section 2001 in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1995 (P.L. 104-19, July 27, 1995) t
Salvage Sales: Timber sales from national forests primarily to remove dead, infested, damaged, or down trees and as
Sample Grade: In commodities, usually the lowest quality of a commodity, too low to be acceptable for delivery in
Sanitary And Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures And Agreements: Measures to protect humans, animals, and plants from diseases, pests, or contaminants. The final act
Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (Ssops): Refers to the cleaning procedures that meat and poultry plants use, both before and during productio
Scaling: A method by which Forest Service personnel, or an independent third-party to measures the volume of
School Breakfast Program: Permanently authorized by the Child Nutrition Act of 1966. Federal funding is provided in the form o
School Meals Initiative For Healthy Children: Initiative undertaken by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to revise and update the nutrition sta
Science Advisory Board: A group of independent scientists selected by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agen
Scientific Advisory Panel: Formally known as the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel, this group of independent scientists was auth
Scrapie: A fatal, degenerative neurological disease of sheep and goats. The similarity of scrapie to bovine s
Section 11 Special Assistance: This refers to the section of National School Lunch Act that provides additional cash reimbursements
Section 15 Lands: These are public lands that lie outside a grazing district administered by the Bureau of Land Manage
Section 201: A section of the Trade Act of 1974 that permits the President to grant temporary import relief, by r
Section 22: A provision of permanent agricultural law (Agricultural Adjustment Act Amendment of 1935) that allow
Section 3 Lands: Public lands within a grazing district administered by the Bureau of Land Management under Section 3
Section 301: A section of the Trade Act of 1974 that authorizes the President to take all appropriate action, inc
Section 32: Section 32 of Agricultural Adjustment Act Amendment of 1935 was enacted to widen market outlets for
Section 4 General Or Basic Assistance: This refers to the section of National School Lunch Act requiring the federal government to subsidiz
Section 404: A provision of the Clean Water Act establishing a program regulating the discharge of dredge or fill
Section 416: A section of the Agricultural Act of 1949 that provides for the disposition of agricultural commodit
Section 502 Loans: A rural housing loan program, administered by the Rural Housing Service (RHS), authorized under Sect
Section 504 Loans And Grants: A USDA rural housing repair program authorized under Section 504 of the Housing Act of 1949. Under c
Section 514 Loans: A domestic farm labor housing program authorized under Section 514 of the Housing Act of 1949. The R
Section 515 Loans: A USDA rural housing program authorized under Section 515 of the Housing Act of 1949. The Rural Hous
Section 516 Grants: A USDA farm labor housing program authorized under Section 516 of the Housing Act of 1949. Qualified
Section 521 Rental Assistance: Rental assistance authorized under Section 521 of the Housing Act of 1949. Owners of housing finance
Section 523 Loans: A mutual self-help rural housing program authorized under Section 523 of the Housing Act of 1949 and
Section 524 Loans: Land acquisition and development loans authorized under Section 524 of the Housing Act of 1949. Nonp
Section 533 Grants: A USDA rural housing rehabilitation program authorized under Section 533 of the Housing Act of 1949.
Sediments: Particulate material, including soil, sand, and minerals, transported and deposited by water or wind
Seed Bank: A facility used for the preservation and dissemination of seed, particularly varieties that are not
Self-Help Land Development Loans: Section 523 loans are for acquiring and developing land that will be used for mutual self-help housi
Septic System: An on-site system designed to treat and dispose of domestic sewage from a residence or business not
Set-Aside Program: A program (not used since the late 1970s) under which farmers are required to set aside a certain pe
Sharecropper: A tenant farmer who receives a share of the crops, livestock, or livestock products from the landown
Sheep Promotion: P.L. 103-407 (October 22, 1994) enabled sheep producers and feeders and importers of sheep and sheep
Sheet Erosion: The removal of a thin, relatively uniform layer of soil from the land surface caused by runoff.
Shelterbelt: A plant barrier of trees, shrubs, or other approved perennial vegetation designed to reduce wind ero
Sherman Anti-Trust Act: The 1890 law is considered the foundation of federal anti-monopoly policy. Passed partly as an outgr
Shippers Export Declaration (SED): A form required by the government for the compilation of official export statistics and for export c
Shipping Holiday: A fruit and vegetable marketing order provision that prohibits the commercial shipping of the regula
Short: (1) The selling side of an open futures contract: (2) a trader whose net position in the futures mar
Short Selling: Selling a futures contract with the idea of delivering on it or offsetting it at a later date.
Short Term Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-102): One of CCC’s export credit guarantee programs. See GSM-102.
Short Ton: Two thousand pounds. By contrast, a long ton equals 2,240 pounds. A metric ton equals 2,204.62 pound
Sign-Up Period: A USDA-prescribed time period, usually lasting several months, when farmers can enroll in a crop pri
Silt: Sedimentary materials composed of fine or intermediate-sized mineral particles.
Silviculture: A branch of forestry dealing with the development and care of forests.
Site Loans: Section 523 loans and Section 524 loans are for acquiring and developing land for low- and moderate-
Slotting Fees: Paid by manufacturers to purchase shelf space in retail stores: such fees are a controversial issue
Small Farm: Although there is no official, widely accepted definition of a small farm, the Small Farms Commissio
Small Hog Operation Payment (SHOP): A $50 million program, announced January 12, 1999, that makes direct farm payments of up to $5 per h
Smith-Lever Act Of 1914: P.L. 63-95 (May 8, 1914) authorized and provided initial funding for states to establish an educatio
Sodbuster: A program created by Title 12 of the Food Security Act of 1985 designed to discourage the plowing up
Soil: In the United States, about 70,000 kinds of soil are recognized in the nationwide system of classifi
Soil Bank Act: Title I of the Agricultural Act of 1956 (P.L. 84-540), designated the Soil Bank Act, created the Acr
Soil Bank Program: A federal program of the late 1950s and early 1960s that paid farmers to retire land from production
Soil Conditioner: An organic material like humus or compost that helps soil absorb water, build a bacterial community,
Soil Conservation And Domestic Allotment Act Of 1936: P.L. 74-46 (February 26, 1936) was designed to support farm income by making soil-conservation and s
Soil Conservation District: A legal subdivision of state government, with a locally elected governing body, responsible for deve
Soil Conservation Service (SCS): Replaced by a new USDA agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service after USDA reorganization
Soil Loss Tolerance (T Value): For a specific soil, the maximum average annual soil loss expressed as tons per acre per year that w
Soil Moisture Zone: Depth of soil from which plant roots extract water.
Soil Quality (Health): Soil quality includes consideration of measures related to both productivity for crops and environme
Soil Series: A group of soils having horizons (or layers) similar in characteristics and arrangement in the soil
Soil Solarization: Fumigating and warming soil by covering it with black plastic. This is an alternative pest control t
Soil Sterilant: A chemical that temporarily or permanently prevents the growth of all plants and animals, depending
Soil Survey: A program of the Natural Resources Conservation Service to inventory soil resources as a basis for d
Sole Source Bid: This refers to the required bidding process for infant formula sold through the WIC program. It offe
Solid Waste: Non-liquid, non-soluble materials ranging from municipal garbage to industrial wastes that contain c
Sound Science: A phrase generally used in a political context to rhetorically challenge the validity of the other s
Soup Kitchen-Food Bank Program: Originally authorized under the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988 to buy commodities for soup kitchens a
Southern Dairy Compact: An agreement among Southern U.S. states that would allow member states to jointly establish a minimu
Special And Differential Treatment (S and D): A set of GATT provisions (in Article 18) that exempts developing countries from the same strict trad
Special Milk Program: Offers federal reimbursements for each half-pint of milk served to a child in a participating outlet
Special Review: Formerly known as Rebuttable Presumption Against Registration (RPAR), this is a regulatory process t
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program For Women Infants And Children (WIC): WIC provides federal grant funds to state health agencies and recognized Indian tribal organizations
Specialty Crops: Usually refers to crops covered by marketing orders that generally are not fruits or vegetables. Spe
Species: Species represent the lowest and most important of the primary groupings used in classifying plants,
Speculator: In commodity trading, an individual who does not hedge, but who trades in futures contracts with the
Spot Commodity: The actual commodity as distinguished from a futures contract. Sometimes used to refer to cash commo
Spot Market: A public or open marketplace (such as open exchanges or auction houses) where products (including ag
Spot Price: The price at which a physical commodity for immediate delivery is selling at a given time and place.
Spread (Or Straddle): The purchase of a futures contract of one delivery month against the sale of another futures deliver
Standards Of Identity For Food: Mandatory, federally-set requirements that determine what a food product must contain in order to be
Staple: A commodity that is widely and regularly produced and consumed (i.e., wheat, rice, potatoes). A term
State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES): The Hatch Act of 1887 established an agricultural experiment station to be affiliated with the land
State And Private Forestry: A branch of the Forest Service providing technical and financial assistance to states and to private
State Inspection Programs: Often refers to the state-run meat and poultry inspection programs to which USDA contributes 50% of
State Rural Development Block Grant: Under provisions of the Rural Community Advancement Program (RCAP), each state may receive, for dire
State Rural Development Councils: A collaborative partnership comprised of representatives of the federal, state, local, and tribal go
State Technical Committee: Advisory groups to state conservationists (coordinators of all Natural Resources Conservation Servic
State Trading Enterprises (Stes): Stes are enterprises authorized to engage in trade (exporting and/or importing) that are owned, sanc
Steagall Amendment Of 1941: P.L. 77-144 (July 1, 1941) required price support for many nonbasic commodities at 85% of parity or
Step 2 Payments: One of the three cotton competitiveness provisions intended to keep U.S. cotton competitive in domes
Stewardship Incentives Program (SIP): A program administered by the Forest Service through the Farm Service Agency that provides up to 75%
Stewart B. Mckinney Homeless Assistance Act: P.L. 100-77 (July 22, 1987). Enacted in response to concerns about increasing hunger, homelessness,
Stocker Cattle: Calves or older animals maintained, often on pasture or rangeland, to increase weight and maturity b
Stocking Rate: The number of specific kinds and classes of livestock grazing or using a unit of land for a specifie
Stocks: Commercial grain stocks include domestic grain in storage in public and private elevators at importa
Strategic Grain Reserve: National grain stocks held in reserve intentionally by government programs for the purpose of meetin
Strike Price (Exercise Or Contract Price): The price, specified in the option contract, at which the underlying futures contract or commodity w
Strip Tillage: Planting and tillage operations that are limited to a strip not to exceed one-third of the distance
Stripcropping: Growing crops in a systematic arrangement of strips or bands, usually parallel to the land’s conto
Structure Of Agriculture: The characteristics of the farm sector: most often used in describing changes in the number, size di
Stubble-Mulching: Leaving the stubble or crop residue essentially in place on the land as a surface cover during a fal
Stumpage Price (Or Stumpage Rate): The agreed-upon price, usually in dollars per thousand board feet (mbf), between a private timber pu
Subscription Farming: Usually refers to a direct marketing arrangement between a local farmer and one or more nearby consu
Subsidy: A direct or indirect benefit granted by a government for the production or distribution (including e
Subsistence Farm: A low-income farm where the operator is producing primarily for the family’s needs rather than for
Sugar Price Support Program: The federal program that maintains a minimum price for sugar. The new program covers the 1996-2002 c
Sugar Re-Export Programs: Administered by USDA, program regulations allow cane refiners and food manufacturers, subject to cer
Suitable Timberland: Timberland from which timber cutting is proposed in forest planning.
Summer Fallow: Cropland in semi-arid regions that is purposely kept out of production during a cropping season main
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP): The SFSP operates in low-income areas during the summer months to provide meals and snacks to childr
Sunflower Oil Assistance Program (SOAP): Along with the Cottonseed Oil Assistance Program (COAP), SOAP was one of two programs under which bo
Super 301: Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by section 1302 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiv
Superfund: The hazardous substance cleanup program created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compens
Supplement: For child nutrition programs, this refers to federally reimbursed snacks that are served to children
Supply Control Programs: Any of several government programs to influence the supply of farm products on the market. Some, suc
Support Price: A legislated minimum price for a particular commodity, maintained by USDA through a variety of mecha
Surface Runoff: Precipitation, snow melt, or irrigation water in excess of what can infiltrate the soil surface and
Surface Transportation Board (STB): The federal body regulating railroads created by Congress when it eliminated the Interstate Commerce
Surplus: The amount by which available supplies are greater than the quantity that will bring producers an ad
Suspension: A process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act by which the Environmental P
Sustainable Agriculture: A systematic approach to agriculture that focuses on ensuring the long-term productivity of human an
Sustained Yield: An output of renewable resources that does not impair the productivity of the resource: it implies a
Swampbuster: A provision of the Food Security Act of 1985 that discourages the conversion of wetlands to cropland
Sweet Potato Whitefly: An insect pest of cotton, fruit and vegetable, and greenhouse crops. The Animal and Plant Health Ins
T Value (Or T Level): For a specific soil, the maximum average annual soil loss expressed as tons per acre per year that w
Taking Endangered Or Threatened Species: Taking, in layman’s terms, means killing or removing a plant or animal of a species listed under t
Takings (Of Property): The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and comparable provisions in state constitutions, bar the '
Talmadge-Aiken Plants: The approximately 250 meat and poultry plants in 10 states where USDA has contracted with state agen
Target Price: Price levels established by past law for wheat, corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, rice, and upland
Targeted Export Assistance Program (TEA): A program authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985 to assist U.S. producer groups in promoting ex
Targeting: A policy concept under which government farm program benefits would be directed toward specified gro
Tariff: A tariff is a list or schedule of taxes, while a duty is the tax imposed on a specific item. However
Tariff Act Of 1930: P.L. 71-361, also known as the Smoot-Hawley Act, raised U.S. import tariffs to their highest levels
Tariff Rate Quota: A trade policy tool used to protect a domestically-produced commodity or product from competitive im
Tariff Schedule: A list or schedule of duties imposed in the conduct of international trade. The Harmonized Tariff Sc
Tariffication: The conversion of nontariff barriers to tariffs or tariff-rate quotas.
Taylor Grazing Act Of 1934 (TGA): P.L. 73-482 (June 28, 1934) provides for the regulation of grazing on the public lands (excluding Al
TCDD: Dioxin.
TCK Smut: Tilletia controversa kuhn is a wheat fungus present in the Pacific Northwest. It takes on policy sig
Team Nutrition: Coordinated effort by the Food and Consumer Service to implement the school meals initiative for hea
Technical Barriers To Trade (Tbts): A category of nontariff barriers to trade, tbts are the widely divergent measures that countries use
Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Act Of 1983 (TEFAA): P.L. 98-8 (March 24, 1983) was a supplemental appropriations act for FY1983 that among other things
Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): A program that evolved out of a surplus commodity donation efforts begun by the USDA in late 1981 to
Tender: As a verb, tender announces the intention of delivering a notice or an actual commodity: i.e., XYZ G
Teratogen: A chemical that causes nonhereditary birth defects in a developing fetus. Teratogencity is taken int
Terminal Elevator: A large elevator (warehouse) facility with the capacity to transfer grain to rail cars, barges, or s
Terminal Market: A central site, often in a metropolitan area, that serves as an assembly and trading place for agric
Terminator Seeds: A descriptive term used by some for seeds that have been genetically engineered to produce a crop wh
Terrace: An embankment, ridge, or leveled strip constructed across sloping soils on the contour, or at right
Threatened Species: Species listed by regulation under ESA, and are generally given a lower level of protection than end
Three Entity Rule: Federal law currently sets an annual cap on the amount of direct payments that a person may receive
Threshold: The lowest non-zero dose of a chemical at which a specified measurable effect occurs. Sometimes used
Thrifty Food Plan (TFP): The TFP is one of four USDA-designed food plans specifying foods and amounts of foods to provide ade
Timber Sale: A contract for the sale of federal timber to a private purchaser with the right to cut and remove tr
Timberland: Lands that can grow annually a minimum amount of wood that can be used to produce commercial wood pr
Tobacco Price Support Program: The tobacco price support program uses a combination of marketing quotas and nonrecourse loans to ke
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): P.L. 94-469 (October 11, 1976) authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate toxic subs
Trade Act Of 1974: P.L. 93-618 provided the President with tariff and nontariff trade barrier negotiating authority for
Trade Adjustment Assistance: Assistance provided by the Departments of Labor and Commerce to workers and firms that are adversely
Trade Agreements Act Of 1979: P.L. 96-39 (July 26, 1979) provided the implementing legislation for the Tokyo Round of multilateral
Trade And Tariff Act Of 1984: P.L. 98-573 (October 30, 1984) clarified the conditions under which unfair trade cases under Section
Trade Policy Committee: The TPC is the senior U.S. Government interagency trade committee established to provide broad guida
Transfer Of Development Rights (TDR): Property rights that may not be used on the land from which they were derived: usually they are sold
Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Tses): The name of a number of degenerative brain diseases that infect humans and animals. For example, bov
Transparency: A World Trade Organization principle stipulating that a country’s policies and regulations affecti
Transshipment: Refers to the primary export of U.S. farm products to certain countries (notably Canada and the Neth
Tree Assistance Program (TAP): A disaster assistance program, administered by the Farm Service Agency, that makes payments for lost
Tree Measurement Sales: A timber sale where purchasers pay the total bid value (the estimated timber volume times the stumpa
Trickle Irrigation - Drip Irrigation: Method in which water drips to the soil from perforated tubes or emitters. This irrigation technolog
Triple Base Plan: Also called the flexible base plan. A proposal under which farmers who raise program crops would rec
Two-Tiered Pricing: Any farm program system under which commodities grown for domestic use are supported at one level an
Underground Storage Tank: For purposes of Subtitle I of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, this is any tank used to s
Uniform Grain And Rice Storage Agreement (USGRSA): The contractual arrangement governing transactions between the Farm Service Agency and private grain
Unique Farmland: Land, other than prime farmland, that has combined conditions to produce sustained high quality and
Unit Train: Generally refers to a string of freight cars that all carry the same commodity, frequently over long
United Nations Conference On Trade And Development (UNCTAD): A UN agency that focuses attention on international economic relations and on measures that might be
United States Code (USC): The consolidation and codification of all the general and permanent laws of the United States. The U
United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) Of 1916: P.L. 64-190 (August 11, 1916), as amended, authorizes the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards A
United States Trade Representative (USTR): The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, originally Office of the Special Trade Representative (
United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act Of 1988: P.L. 100-449 (September 28, 1988) implemented the bilateral trade agreement between the United State
Universal Soil Loss Equation: A formula used to estimate erosion rates by considering climate, soils, and topographic conditions a
Unreasonable Risk: Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 'unreasonable adverse effects
Upland Cotton: The predominant variety of cotton grown in the United States: upland cotton has long been eligible f
Uplands: Land at higher elevations than the alluvial plain or low stream terrace: all lands outside the ripar
Urban And Built-Up Areas: A classification in the natural resources inventory, now called developed areas, that includes citie
Urban Growth Boundary: An agreed-upon line that allows development and urban-type services on one side and retains open spa
Uruguay Round: The 8th round of multilateral trade negotiations (MTN) conducted within the framework of the GATT. L
Uruguay Round Agreements (URA) Act Of 1994: P.L. 103-465 (December 8, 1994) approved and implemented the trade agreements concluded in the Urugu
User Fees: Any of various charges and assessments levied on a specifically delineated group that is directly su
Usual Market Requirements (UMR): A measure of the import requirement of a country met through commercial purchases: usually defined a
Utilization Rates: The percentage of milk in federal milk marketing orders that is used in each of the classes: Class I
Value-Added Agriculture: A concept that has gained currency in the small farm policy debate, in response to the concern that
Value-Added Products: In general, products that have increased in value because of processing: such products include wheat
Value-Based Pricing: Packers are increasingly using this method of determining how much to pay cattle and hog producers f
Variable Import Levy: A charge levied on imports that raises their price to a level at least as high as the domestic price
Vegetative Controls: Nonpoint source pollution control practices that involve planting cover crops to reduce erosion and
Vertical Coordination: The process of ensuring that each successive stage in the production, processing, and marketing of a
Vertical Integration: The integrating of successive stages of the production and marketing functions under the ownership o
Vesicular Stomatitis: Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that can affect horses, swine, cattle, and other ruminants.
Veterinary Biologics: Vaccines, antigens, antitoxins and other preparations made from living organisms (or genetically eng
Veterinary Equivalency: The mutual recognition by two or more countries that each party’s safety and sanitation standards
Visegrad Countries: The countries that entered into an agreement to coordinate their policies with a view to apply for m
Voluntary Export Restraint Arrangement (VER): An arrangement, usually a negotiated bilateral agreement, between countries in which suppliers or th
Vomitoxin: Deoxynivalenol (DON), also referred to as vomitoxin, is a naturally occurring mycotoxin produced by
Warehouse Receipt: A document certifying possession of a commodity in a licensed warehouse. Some warehouse receipts are
WASDE: The acronym for World Supply and Demand Estimates, the official monthly report on supply, demand, pr
Wash Versus Trim: USDA requires that any time fecal contamination is detected during meat and poultry processing, it m
Waste Treatment Pond: A shallow lagoon or similar storage facility, often man-made, used to treat liquid agricultural wast
Water 2000 Initiative: The program administered by the Rural Utilities Service whose goal is to improve the quality of drin
Water Bank Program (WBP): A program to set aside wetlands for a period of 10 years (renewable) for conservation purposes. Part
Water Quality Incentives Program: This program was authorized in the FACT Act of 1990 and is administered by the Farm Service Agency.
Water Quality Initiative: A multi-agency effort, initiated by USDA in 1990, to determine relationships between agricultural ac
Water Quality Standards: State-adopted and the Environmental Protection Agency-approved ambient standards for water bodies. T
Water Service Contract: A type of contract, authorized by the Reclamation Project Act of 1939, whereby water is furnished fo
Waterfowl Production Areas: A small component of the National Wildlife Refuge System. There are over 2,000,000 acres of this pri
Watershed: The total land area, regardless of size, above a given point on a waterway that contributes runoff w
Watershed And Flood Prevention Act Of 1954: P.L. 83-566 (August 4, 1954) established USDA’s small watershed program administered by the Natura
Watershed And Flood Prevention Operations: A program area of the Natural Resources Conservation Service that includes Flood Prevention Operatio
Wellhead Protection Area: A surface and subsurface land area regulated to prevent contamination of a well or well-field supply
Wet-Milling: A process in which feed material is steeped in water, with or without sulphur dioxide, to soften the
Wetlands: Areas of predominantly hydric soils that can support a prevalence of water-loving plants, know as hy
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP): A program authorized by FACT Act of 1990 to provide long-term protection for wetlands. Producers enr
Whole Herd Buyout Program: Another term for the dairy termination program.
Wholesale Price Index: A composite index of prices of commodities sold in primary U.S. markets. 'Wholesale' refers to sale
WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Act Of 1992: P.L. 102-314 (July 2, 1992) established a program authorizing projects that provide participants in
WIC Vendors: Grocery and other stores authorized as eligible to accept WIC coupons or vouchers and to receive rei
WIC Vouchers (Coupons): Food instruments commonly issued by WIC agencies to participants that are used in grocery and other
Wilderness: An area of federal land, usually 5,000 acres or more, where the impact of man is largely unnoticeabl
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program: A program established by the FAIR Act of 1996 to promote voluntary implementation of on-farm managem
Wildlife Refuges: Units of the National Wildlife Refuge System. They may be designated under general authorities of th
Wildlife Services (WS) Program: An Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service program to protect agriculture, natural resources, pro
William F. Goodling Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act Of 1998: This law (enacted as P.L. 105-336: October 31, 1998) extended expiring authorizations for child nutr
Wind Erosion: The detachment and transportation of soil by wind. Wind erosion is a cropland management concern in
Wind Erosion Equation: An equation used to design wind erosion control systems, which considers soil erodibility, soil roug
Windbreak: A living barrier that usually includes several rows of trees, and perhaps shrubs, located upwind of
Wool And Mohair Commodity Programs: Income support was provided to producers of wool and mohair under authority of the National Wool Act
WORC Petition: The acronym stands for the Western Organization of Resource Councils, a private advocacy organizatio
Work-Training Programs: Work/training programs have two meanings in the food stamp program: (1) most able-bodied unemployed
World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB): As part of the Office of the Chief Economist, the WAOB coordinates the commodity forecasting program
World Bank: A multilateral economic development institution established in 1945 to extend loans and technical as
World Food Program (WFP): A UN agency that contributes commodities, services, and cash to developing countries to meet emergen
World Price: The price at which commodities will move in international trade under existing marketing conditions.
World Price (Rice): As part of the rice marketing assistance loan program, USDA calculates the world price for each clas
World Trade Organization (WTO): The international organization established by the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations t
Yield: The number of bushels (or pounds or hundredweight) that a farmer harvests per acre. Under the Food S
Yield Monitoring: Collecting data on the amount of production at regular intervals combined with GPS readings. The res
Zero 50-85-92 Provisions: Refers to the 50/85 and 50/92 commodity program provisions for rice and cotton and the 0/85 and 0/92
Zero Tolerance: In food safety policy, a 'zero tolerance' standard generally means that if a potentially dangerous s
Zoonotic Diseases: Diseases that under natural conditions are communicable from animals to humans. Tuberculosis and rab