July 11, 2008

General Farming Glossary

Agistment: Paying for grazing stock on another farm.
Agribusiness: The business (economic) side of farming often relating to large enterprises.
Bail: A device for holding an animal, e.g. head bale, or milking bale.
Bail up: To capture and restrain an animal, eg bail up a wild pig.
Bale: Compressed and bound material for handling and storage, eg. hay or silage bale, wool bale.
Baler: Machine that makes bales (hay or silage) or packs them (wool).
Block: Area of land with a defined boundary.
Bloodstock: General term for thoroughbred horses.
Break feeding: Feeding a pasture off in small areas. Strip grazing.
Bush: Native forest in New Zealand. Virgin bush is in its original state and has never been logged (trees removed).
Carrying capacity: The number of stock an area or farm can carry, usually calculated for winter when feed is at a minimum.
Condition: The physical state of an animal. Refers mainly to their fatness.
Condition scoring: Method of assessing the condition of an animal using a visual scale.
Creek: Small waterway.
Crush: A mechanical device, small pen or narrow race to restrain animals.
Draft or drafting: Removing certain animals from a group, usually through a drafting race in the stock yards.
Ear marking: Removing “bit’s from the ears of animals to denote age or ownership.
Feedlot: Confined area where all the feed is brought in for the stock (usually beef or sheep).
Flat: Area of level ground, usually near a river, eg river flats.
Flock: Name for a group of sheep.
Freezing works: Processing plant where stock are slaughtered and meat stored.
Herd: Name for a group of cattle, goats or deer.
High country: Hill or mountain farm land in the South Island of New Zealand.
Hill country: Rolling to steep grazing land, with limited access for wheeled vehicles.
Livestock Unit (LSU): See Stock Unit.
Mob: Group of animals gathered for moving or handling.
Muster: To gather or collect stock together for movement or handling.
Paddock: A defined area of fenced land.
Polled stock: Animals that naturally have no horns.
Race: Narrow channel allowing irrigation water to flow (water race). Narrow pen for forcing animals to walk in single file before drafting. Fenced area of paddock or roadway through a farm for moving stock.
Rising: Term to describe animal’s approaching age, eg rising yearling will become a yearling 12 months after its birth. Abbreviations used are RS1, RS2, etc.
Rotational grazing: Grazing an area in small allocations behind an electric fence, eg moved once/day. After a set number of days stock return to repeat the circuit around the farm.
Rouseabout (Rousie): General farm hand working in a shearing shed.
Ruminant: Animal with four compartments to the stomach (rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum). Cattle, sheep, goats and deer are ruminants.
Run: An extensive grazing property usually in the South Island high country.
Run-off: Land run in association with an established farm. Usually some distance away.
Seasons: In New Zealand:
  • Spring – September, October, November
  • Summer – December, January, February
  • Autumn – March, April, May
  • Winter – June, July, August
Note: Seasons in the South Island are generally a month later.
Scrub: Small bushes and trees that cover an area of land.
Scrub cutting: To cut the scrub on a block of land. Scrub cutters are often hired to do the job.
Scrubber: A rough looking or poorly grown animal.
Shed: Farm building.
Shed: Fibres from sheep or goats that drop off (shed) without shearing.
Shearing shed: where sheep are shorn and wool sorted and packed.
Shedding: To separate off some animals from a mob. Smoko: Shearer’s term for a break for morning and afternoon tea (and a smoke).
Station: Large area of farm land used for grazing livestock.
Strip grazing: See break feeding.
Stocking: The number of animals kept on a specific area or the farm.
  • Stocking rate: Usually quoted as animals/ha or Stock Units/ha.
  • Set stocking: Grazing animals on an area for a few days or up to a week in contrast to daily shifts on rotational grazing.
  • Mob stocking: Grazing a large number of animals in one group on an area.
Stock unit (SU): Also referred to as Livestock Unit (LU) and Ewe Equivalent (EE). It is the feed required for a 55kg ewe rearing a single lamb, and requires approximately 520kg of good quality pasture Dry Matter per year to feed them.
Store stock: Animals that are not ready for slaughter, or are being kept for breeding. “Forward stores” will be ready for market with a short period of feeding.
Tare: Allowance made for the weight of a container (usually the truck). Weight of vehicle less the weight of fuel and load.

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