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GLOBAL AGRICULTURE : Terms of the Trade

August 30, 1994

Crop rotation: Regular recurrent succession of different crops on the same land for the purpose of maintaining good yields.

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Dry-land farming: The practice of crop production without irrigation.

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Drip irrigation: Water applied at very low pressure from an emitter in a plastic line for tree and row crops.

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Fresno scraper: A drag-type scraper used to move dirt. The bucket has a bottom and is rotated forward for dumping and spreading.

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Harrow: A frame with spikes or sharp-edged disks, drawn by a horse or tractor and used for breaking up and leveling plowed ground, covering seeds and rooting up weeds.

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Land plane: A land-preparation implement used in minor touch-up land-leveling operations after a plot has been graded by heavy equipment. The land plane is most widely used in normal farming operations to touch up a field every two or three years following intensive cropping.

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Leaching: The process of removal of soluble materials, such as salt, by the passage of water through soil. Salt inhibits growht.

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Ruminants: Animals having a stomach with four compartments--rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. Their digestive process is more complex than that of animals having a true stomach. Some commonly known ruminants are cattle, sheep and goats. An example of a true-stomach animal is the pig--and man .

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Shaker: A boom device mounted on a tractor, or self-propelled, used to vigorously shake trees to remove fruit or nuts.

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Subsoiling: Breaking of compact subsoils without inverting them in order to increase water intake into the soil. This is done with a special narrow cultivator shovel or chisel, which is pulled through the soil at a depth from 12 to 24 inches.

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Viticulture: The science and practice of vine growing; grape growing.

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Sustainable agriculture: An approach to farming based on the premise that chemicals should be used sparingly and on an "as needed" basis. Use of sustainable agriculture has increased with the growing concern over the harmful effects of commercial pesticides and fertilizers on the environment. Not to be confused with organic farming, which entirely avoids the use of commercial pesticides and fertilizers, sustainable agriculture has become so popular that, in the United States, such agricultural giants as Dole, Gallo and Paramount have adopted sustainable agriculture methods, which include some old-school farming techniques--such as crop rotation and manure spreading. Source: "The Glossary of Farm Terms," U.S. Department of Agriculture. Compiled by Times researcher Laura A. Galloway

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