7 Words You Need To Understand Before Starting Up In Agriculture

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Agriculture is a fascinating sector in that it merges business with the plant sciences, Botany and Ecology. In order do business in Agriculture, there are key terms that you need to understand. The following contributed post is thus entitled, 7 Words You Need To Understand Before Starting Up In Agriculture.

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Agriculture is a thriving sector of the economy and currently going through enormous change. That means that there are big opportunities available to people who can see them.

But part of understanding any industry is knowing some of the jargon that people in that industry use to communicate with each other. Jargon isn’t pointless, as many people contend: it’s just a way of expressing shorthand with other people with a high level of knowledge of a particular subject. So what words should you know if you’re planning on setting up in the ag business? Let’s take a look.


If you grow your own crops, you need to understand the concept of yield. Yield, put simply, is the weight of crop produced, divided by the area required to produce it. Modern farmers will usually speak of “tons per hectare”, but old-fashioned metrics might include “bushels per acre” where a bushel is an imperial measure for a quantity of a crop. Visit this website to find out more.



Speaking of bushels, what exactly are they? Bushels are just a unit of measurement for a crop, Traditionally, a bushel was 8 gallons of grain, but the weight of a bushel varies with the type of plant. Eight gallons of oats, for instance, weighs about half as much as the same volume of wheat.


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Take a look at most modern farms, and what do you notice? The same crop is grown in all directions, mile after mile. But is this the best way to grow? Polyculture refers to the process of growing complementary crops next to each other, boosting the yield of both.

Seed Drill

Seed drills are pretty self-explanatory. Before mechanisation, farmers used to drill seeds into the ground mechanically using horse or cattle-driven ploughs. Today tractors pull seed drills along fields, allowing farmers to plant seeds at set depths and intervals.


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Permaculture refers to a process of designing human communities so that food production and waste are closely linked. The idea is to recycle all of the raw ingredients of farming to create something sustainable.

Dry Farming

With freshwater supplies under threat worldwide, there’s a growing need for dry farming: or the practice of relying on rainfall and soil moisture alone, rather than irrigation. Traditionally, farmers relied on building channels that would transport water to their crops to keep soil moisture levels high. But dry farming is a far riskier process because farmers essentially don’t have any control over when it rains. Dry farmers tend to rely on hardy crops that can withstand water and nutrient depletion.


Weeds can reduce yields by outcompeting crops for resources: soil nutrients, water and sunlight. Farmers need to get rid of weeds, but that can be difficult. Killing weeds with herbicide is all well and good, so long as the herbicide doesn’t kill the crops at the same time.

Herbicide-tolerant crops are those which can survive treatment with herbicide. The weeds die, but the crops don’t – exactly what you want as a farmer.

So, are you ready to start up in agriculture?

Author: anwaryusef

Anwar Y. Dunbar is a Regulatory Scientist. Being a naturally curious person, he is also a student of all things. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Biology from Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). Prior to starting the Big Words Blog Site, Anwar published and contributed to numerous research articles in competitive scientific journals reporting on his research from graduate school and postdoctoral years. After falling in love with writing, he contributed to the now defunct Examiner.com, and the Edvocate where he regularly wrote about: Education-related stories/topics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Financial Literacy; as well as conducted interviews with notable individuals such as actor and author Hill Harper. Having many influences, one of his most notable heroes is author, intellectual and speaker, Malcolm Gladwell, author of books including Outliers and David and Goliath. Anwar has his hands in many, many activities. In addition to writing, Anwar actively mentors youth, works to spread awareness of STEM careers, serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium, serves as Treasurer for the JCSU Washington, DC Alumni Chapter, and is active in the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Ministry at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. He also tutors in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics. Along with his multi-talented older brother Amahl Dunbar (designer of the Big Words logos, inventor and a plethora of other things), Anwar is a “Fanboy” and really enjoys Science-Fiction and Superhero movies including but not restricted to Captain America Civil War, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Prometheus. He is a proud native of Buffalo, NY.

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