AAEA — American Agricultural Economics Association
AAFCO — American Association of Feed Control Officials
AAM — American Agriculture Movement.
AAMP — American Association of Meat Processors.
AARCC — Alternative Agriculture Research and Commercialization Corporation.
ABA — American Bakers Association.
ABA — American Bankers Association.
Abandoned drainage wells and abandoned water wells on vacant farmsteads are of particular concern for agriculture. Abandoned wells can present both safety risks and a direct conduit by which groundwater can be contaminated by surface runoff. A number of states have incentive and/or regulatory programs to cap or seal abandoned wells.
AC — Area conservationist
ACA — Agricultural Credit Association
ACE — Agriculture in Concert with the Environment
Abnormally acidic (low pH) precipitation (or dry deposition) resulting from emissions of sulfur and nitrogen compounds that transform during chemical processes in the atmosphere. Acid deposition can affect the chemistry of soils and acidify lakes, adversely affecting forests and fish. It does not adversely affect cropland. The Clean Air Act includes a program focused on controlling precursor emissions of acid deposition—primarily sulfur oxides from coal-fired electric utilities.
ACP — Agricultural Conservation Program
ACPA — American Crop Protection Association
Acquired lands are lands in federal ownership that were obtained by the federal government through purchase, condemnation, gift, or exchange. One category of public lands.
The Agricultural Marketing Service is the USDA agency that establishes standards for grades of cotton, tobacco, meat, dairy products, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. It also operates inspection and grading services and market news services, and provides supervisory administration for federal marketing orders.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a USDA agency established to conduct inspections and regulatory and control programs to protect animal and plant health. It administers quarantine and eradication programs, and certifies that U.S. exports meet importing countries' animal and plant health standards
An accounting statement measuring the value of goods, services and capital exchanged between a country and all foreign countries. A nation is said to have either: (1) a balance of payments deficit if it sends abroad less in goods, services, and capital than it receives from foreigners; or (2) a balance of payments surplus if it sends abroad more in goods, services, and capital than it receives.
The Consultative Committee on Agriculture's (CCA) purpose is to provide a high-level forum to strengthen bilateral agriculture trade relations between Canada and the United States of America through cooperation and coordination by facilitating discussion and cooperation on matters related to agriculture between the two countries
The Commodity Credit Corporation is a wholly owned government corporation created in 1933 to stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices (federally chartered by the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act of 1948 (P.L. 80-806, June 29, 1948)). The CCC, which has no staff, is essentially a financing institution for USDA's farm price and income support commodity programs, and agricultural export subsidies.
A full service convention and trade show management company. CMG has provided consulting and staffing resources to NASDA in support of the USFES program since 1991 when NASDA decided to join FMI in an annual show.
The Department of Commerce is the federal executive department charged with promoting U.S. economic development and technological advancement.
A bacterium that lives harmlessly in the intestines of animals such as cattle, reptiles, and birds. However, in humans the bacterium, which can be transmitted through foods, can cause bloody diarrhea, and also lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life threatening disease. Although other known strains of E. coli are thought to be harmless to humans, the 0157:H7 strain is particularly virulent and dangerous. It has been implicated in several major outbreaks of food borne illness in recent years. After a 1993 outbreak in the West, caused by the consumption of undercooked hamburgers, resulted in hundreds of illnesses and several deaths, USDA began regularly testing samples of ground beef for the pathogen. USDA, as part of its new hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) rule, also now requires all meat and poultry slaughter plants to regularly test carcasses for generic E. coli (as opposed to the 0157:H7 strain) in order to verify that their sanitary systems are effectively controlling fecal contamination.
The Emerging Markets Program is funded by FAS through cooperator and other groups for the purpose of expanding export and trade opportunities in emerging market countries (as defined by per capita income).
The Environmental Protection Agency is an independent federal government agency established in 1970 and charged with coordinating effective governmental action concerning the environment, including setting standards, promulgating and enforcing regulations, and initiating and implementing environmental programs. Two areas of jurisdiction that most directly affect agricultural production are the registration of pesticides and implementation of the Clean Water Act.
The Foreign Agricultural Service is USDA’s agency which deals with trade promotion, trade policy for U.S. food and agricultural products, and tracks international agricultural production.
The Food Marketing Institute is a nonprofit association conducting programs in research, education, industry relations, and public affairs on behalf of its 1,500 members — food retailers and wholesalers. FMI’s U.S. member companies operate approximately 21,000 retail food stores. FMI’s international membership includes 200 companies operating in 60 countries.
A private, not-for-profit international trade development organization whose mission is to coordinate and consolidate export marketing and promotion programs in the Northeastern region of the United States.
Indicates that the seller assumes all responsibilities and costs up to the specific point or stage of delivery named including transportation, packing, insuring, etc. A wide variety of f.o.b. terms is used, such as f.o.b. factor Detroit, f.o.b. cars New York, f.o.b. ship Norfolk. "Free on board vessel," under most P.L. 480 grain contracts, means delivery at the discharge end of the loading spout.
An analytical technique for identifying the molecular composition and concentrations of various chemicals in water and soil samples.
The place where a population (e.g., human, animal, plant, microorganism) lives, characterized by physical features (e.g., desert) and/or dominant plants (e.g., deciduous forest).
This is the designation given to bulk commodities marketed in a manner that isolates and preserves the identity of a shipment, presumably because of unique characteristics that have value otherwise lost through commingling during normal storage, handling and shipping procedures.
Created in 1978, the facility is a cooperative effort between USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce to collect, on an ongoing basis, global weather data and agricultural information to determine the impact of weather conditions on crop and livestock production. JAWF reports are followed closely not only by producers but also by commodity traders.
A fungus disease of wheat that reduces yields and causes an unpalatable but harmless flavor in flour milled from infected kernels. Appearance of the disease in the United States in early 1996 resulted in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service implementing an emergency quarantine, inspection, and certification program for wheat moving out of the infested areas, along with regulations on sanitizing machinery and storage facilities. Many foreign countries have a zero tolerance for karnal bunt in import shipments.
The quality of soil resources for agricultural use is commonly expressed as land capability classes and subclasses, which show, in a general way, the suitability of soils for most kinds of field crops. Soils are grouped according to their limitations when they are used to grow field crops, the risk of damage when they are used, and the way they respond to treatment. Capability classes, the broadest groups, are designated by Roman numerals I through VIII, with I being the best soils and VIII being the poorest.
The common term used for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
The Market Access Program is funded by FAS through cooperator groups (like NASDA and NASDA's state regional trade groups) for the purpose of expanding export opportunities for US food and agricultural interests.
The Midwestern Association of State Departments of Agriculture is the regional organization representing the Midwestern State Departments of Agriculture
The Mid-America International Agri-Trade Council is a private, not-for-profit international trade development organization whose mission is to coordinate and consolidate export marketing and promotion programs in the Midwestern region of the United States.
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture whose members are the Commissioners, Secretaries, and Directors of agriculture in all 50 states and 4 U.S. territories.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service is USDA agency that collects and publishes statistics on the U.S. food and fiber system, with offices located in each state's department of agriculture.
The Northeastern Association of State Departments of Agriculture is a regional organization representing the Northeastern State Departments of Agriculture.
The National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which include 858,000 restaurants and 11.8 million employees in the US. NRA works to represent, educate and promote the industry.
The National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which include 858,000 restaurants and 11.8 million employees in the US. NRA works to represent, educate and promote the industry.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service is a USDA agency responsible for developing and carrying out national soil and water programs in cooperation with landowners, operators, and others.
The U.S. Department of Labor agency responsible for administering the Occupational Safety and Health Act (P.L. 91-596). According to OSHA, farming is the nation’s most hazardous occupation. Agriculture is the largest occupational group in the U.S., with some 10 to 20 million people depending upon one’s criteria of "agriculture." The intrinsically seasonal nature of many segments of agriculture not only causes the size of this workforce to vary temporally and often geographically via migrant work groups, but usually also has major effects on the nature and intensity of the work itself. OSHA has issued safety standards relating to agricultural operations.
P.L. 83-480 (July 10, 1954), also called Food for Peace, is the common name for food aid programs established by the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, which seeks to expand foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products, combat hunger, and encourage economic development in developing countries. Title I makes export credit available on concessional terms, for example, at low interest rates for up to 30 years. Donations for emergency food relief and non-emergency humanitarian assistance are provided under Title II. Title III authorizes a Food for Development program that provides government-to-government grant food assistance to least developed countries. The FAIR Act of 1996 extends the authority to enter into new P.L. 480 agreements through 2002.
An AMS pilot program (since 1996) for the fresh-cut produce industry, enabling them to gain official certification of the wholesomeness of their products to improve marketing opportunities. Under this voluntary, fee-for-service program, AMS, using HACCP-based principles, first inspects the company’s facilities to ensure they are properly designed, are consistent with the Food and Drug Administration’s good manufacturing practices, have on-site microbiological testing, follow accepted sanitary operating procedures, and so forth. Ongoing monitoring, including periodic unannounced site visits, sampling, and audits by AMS are intended to ensure that the firm maintains its QTV status, which then authorizes it to use an official AMS mark, the QTV shield, on product labels and in advertisements.
Money collected from livestock grazing on federal lands and used for rangeland improvements. The Bureau of Land Management calls these funds Range Improvement Funds and uses them solely for labor, materials, and final survey and design of projects to improve rangelands. The Forest Service calls these funds Range Betterment Funds and uses them for planning and building rangeland improvements.
P.L. 93-523 (December 16, 1974) as amended, is the key federal law for protecting public water systems from harmful contaminants. First enacted in 1974, the Act, as amended, is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency through regulatory programs that establish standards and treatment requirements for drinking water contaminants, control underground injection of wastes that might contaminate water supplies, and protect ground and surface water sources. Regulated public water systems under the Act are those that have at least 15 service connections or regularly serve 25 or more individuals. The 1996 amendments (P.L. 104-182) broadened the definition of "public water system" to include systems that deliver water through pipes or "other constructed conveyances," which includes agricultural irrigation systems that convey water that is used for residential purposes (unless alternative water is provided for drinking and cooking; or unless water for drinking, cooking, and bathing is treated). The 1996 amendments also require states to identify, to the extent practicable, origins of contaminants in areas providing source waters for public water systems to determine the susceptibility of systems to contamination; such areas could include farmland.
The Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture is the regional organization representing the Southern State Departments of Agriculture
The Southern United States Trade Association is a private, not-for-profit international trade development organization whose mission is to coordinate and consolidate export marketing and promotion programs in the Southern region of the United States.
For a specific soil, the maximum average annual soil loss expressed as tons per acre per year that will permit current production levels to be maintained economically and indefinitely; the soil loss tolerance level. T values range from 2 to 5 tons per acre per year. According to the 1992 national resources inventory, about 63 million acres of highly erodible cropland are still eroding at more than their T value, including 21 million acres that are still eroding at three times T.
Unified Export Strategy is submitted by FAS cooperator groups who seek funding through the MAP, EMP and other export development programs.
Unified Export Strategy is submitted by FAS cooperator groups who seek funding through the MAP, EMP and other export development programs
A concept that has gained currency in the small farm policy debate, in response to the concern that the farm value of the consumer food dollar continues to decrease (which, some small farm advocates contend, is due to the excessive profit-taking by processors and retailers). Value added agriculture might be any means to capture a larger share of the consumer food dollar by farmers. Examples include direct marketing; farmer ownership of processing facilities; and producing farm products with a higher intrinsic value (such as identity-preserved grains, organic produce, free-range chickens; etc.), for which buyers are willing to pay a higher price than for more traditional farm commodities.
In general, products that have increased in value because of processing; such products include wheat flour and soybean oil. Livestock are considered value added products because they have increased the value of pasture and feed grains going into them. The terms value-added and high-value are often used synonymously.
Packers are increasingly using this method of determining how much to pay cattle and hog producers for animals. Rather than simply paying a fixed rate based on the weight of the animals, value-based pricing attempts to establish the individual merits of each animal (or lot) purchased, factoring quality characteristics such as yield, fat thickness, likely grade (such as choice, select, etc.) into a formula to arrive at the price that will be paid. Under this system, the producer assumes the financial responsibility that the animals, once slaughtered, will meet these criteria. In traditional pricing methods, it is the packer that bears the greater financial risks associated with the uncertain quality of the animals purchased.
A charge levied on imports that raises their price to a level at least as high as the domestic price. Such levies are adjusted frequently (hence "variable") in response to changes in world market prices, and are imposed to defend administered prices set above world market prices. Under the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture, the variable levies of the EU have been converted into fixed tariffs or tariff-rate quotas.
VAT — Value-added tax
Nonpoint source pollution control practices that involve planting cover crops to reduce erosion and minimize loss of pollutants.
VER — Voluntary export restraint agreement.
The process of ensuring that each successive stage in the production, processing, and marketing of a product is appropriately managed and interrelated to the next, so that decisions about what to produce, and how much, are communicated as efficiently as possible from the consumer to the producer. Agricultural economists believe that vertical coordination of markets is particularly important in the food industry because of its complexity, the large number of firms that participate in one or more stages, and the relative perishability of the products involved. Vertical integration is a type of vertical coordination, but the latter does not necessarily require that a single organization own or control all of the stages. For example, the use of contracts andmarketing agreements between buyers and sellers, and the availability of timely, accurate price and other market information are methods for achieving vertical coordination.
The integrating of successive stages of the production and marketing functions under the ownership or control of a single management organization. For example, much of the broiler industry is highly vertically integrated in that processing companies own or control the activities from production and hatching of eggs, through the growth and feeding of the chickens, to slaughter, processing, and wholesale marketing.
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that can affect horses, swine, cattle, and other ruminants. It causes affected livestock to develop blisters in the mouth and on the dental pad, hooves, and teats. These blisters swell and break, leaving raw tissue that causes affected animals to become lame and to refuse food and water. The disease also is of concern because its symptoms are similar to those of foot-and-mouth disease, a devastating foreign disease of clovenhoofed animals that was eradicated from the United States in 1929. The only way to diagnose and differentiate these diseases is through laboratory tests. There was an occurrence of vesicular stomatitis in the southwestern United States in 1985, in 1995, and again in 1998. People who handle infected animals also can become infected. APHIS is working with state officials to identify all cases of the disease and prevent its spread.
Vaccines, antigens, antitoxins and other preparations made from living organisms (or genetically engineered) and intended for use in diagnosing, treating, or immunizing animals. Unlike some pharmaceutical products, such as antibiotics, most biologics leave no residues in animals. Veterinary biologics are regulated by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which licenses the facilities that produce them and conducts a program to ensure that animal vaccines and other veterinary biologics are safe, pure, potent, and effective.
The mutual recognition by two or more countries that each party’s safety and sanitation standards for animal products, even where not identical, provide an equivalent level of protection to public and animal health. Aimed at facilitating trade, the practical effect of veterinary equivalency is that each country’s individual products and facilities will not have to submit to the separate standards of importing countries and to cumbersome and costly inspections by foreign reviewers. Veterinary equivalency has been a contentious issue for the United States and European Union (EU); the two parties in 1997 agreed in principle to an agreement recognizing each other’s standards, but it had not been finalized by early 1999 due to a series of unresolved technical disputes.
VFD — Veterinary Feed Directive
VOC — Volatile organic compounds.
An arrangement, usually a negotiated bilateral agreement, between countries in which suppliers or their government in an exporting country agree to limit to predetermined levels their exports of a particular product to an importing country. Under the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture, VERs are to be converted into fixed tariffs or tariff-rate quotas.
Deoxynivalenol (DON), also referred to as vomitoxin, is a naturally occurring mycotoxin produced by several species of Fusarium fungi. Wet and cool weather from flowering time to maturity promotes infection, resulting in scab or head blight in barley, wheat, oats, and rye. Wheat infected with scab has a tendency to have lighter weight kernels, some of which are removed during normal harvesting and cleaning operations. Vomitoxin does not represent a threat to public health among the general population. However, it can—in rare cases—produce acute temporary nausea and vomiting in humans and animals. Food and Drug Administration does not have an advisory level for vomitoxin in raw wheat intended for milling purposes, and relies on processors to reduce the level in finished products for human consumption to a level that does not exceed 1 part-per-million (ppm). Advisory levels also exist for animal feeds.
WAOB — World Agricultural Outlook Board.
A document certifying possession of a commodity in a licensed warehouse. Some warehouse receipts are recognized for delivery purposes by a commodity futures exchange.
The Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture is the regional organization representing the Western State Departments of Agriculture
The acronym for World Supply and Demand Estimates, the official monthly report on supply, demand, prices and other data for major agricultural commodities published by the World Agricultural Outlook Board.
USDA requires that any time fecal contamination is detected during meat and poultry processing, it must be removed from the carcass. At issue is how this rule has been applied and enforced by USDA in meat and poultry plants. For a number of years, poultry processors have been permitted to either rinse (wash) off or cut (trim) away such contamination, but beef processors have only been permitted to (trim) it with a knife—which they argue costs them money in lost product weight and imposes a requirement that poultry producers do not have to meet. The policy jargon for this debate is "wash versus trim." USDA, early in 1997, clarified its zero tolerance rule for poultry; a year earlier it gave beef plants permission to use a new high-temperature vacuuming method to remove fecal contamination in lieu of cutting it off.
A shallow lagoon or similar storage facility, often man-made, used to treat liquid agricultural wastes, particularly liquid manure from livestock production farms, through the interaction of sunlight, wind, algae, and oxygen. Through natural biological processes, microscopic organisms consume wastes present in the water.
The program administered by the Rural Utilities Service whose goal is to improve the quality of drinking water in distressed rural areas with the most serious safe drinking water problems.
A program to set aside wetlands for a period of 10 years (renewable) for conservation purposes. Participants receive annual rental payments. As these contracts expire, participants are offered the opportunity to place the land in the Wetland Reserve Program.
This program was authorized in the FACT Act of 1990 and is administered by the Farm Service Agency. It was repealed and replaced by the Environmental Quality Incentives Program in the FAIR Act of 1996. It provided cost-share assistance to implement comprehensive water quality protection plans and was funded by earmarking a portion of the Agricultural Conservation Program.
A multi-agency effort, initiated by USDA in 1990, to determine relationships between agricultural activities and water quality, and develop and implement strategies that protect surface and groundwater quality. This program, which builds on earlier USDA water quality protection efforts, includes research activities, projects involving landowners, and information and data development. Landowners participate in demonstration projects, hydrologic unit area projects, water quality special projects, and water quality incentive projects.
State-adopted and the Environmental Protection Agency-approved ambient standards for water bodies. The standards prescribe the use of the water body and establish the water quality criteria that must be met to protect designated uses, and contain policies to protect against degradation of water quality once standards are attained and maintained.
A type of contract, authorized by the Reclamation Project Act of 1939, whereby water is furnished for irrigation or municipal or miscellaneous purposes at rates to produce revenue sufficient to cover charges reimbursable to the federal government.
The total land area, regardless of size, above a given point on a waterway that contributes runoff water to the flow at that point. It is a major subdivision of a drainage basin. The United States is generally divided into 18 major drainage areas and 160 principal river drainage basins containing about 12,700 smaller watersheds.
P.L. 83-566 (August 4, 1954) established USDA’s small watershed program administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service; purposes of projects built under this authority include flood reduction, sediment and erosion control, and water conservation. Since its inception, over $4.2 billion has been appropriated to this program which has constructed more than 1,600 projects. Also known as the PL-566 program.
A program area of the Natural Resources Conservation Service that includes Flood Prevention Operations (under the Flood Control Act of 1944, P.L. 78-534), Emergency Watershed Protection, and Small Watershed Operations (under the Watershed and Flood Prevention Act of 1954. These programs have built small watershed projects that reduce floods, protect watersheds, improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, improve water supply, and provide recreation. They involve strong partnerships with local interests.
WEQ — Wind erosion equation
A process in which feed material is steeped in water, with or without sulphur dioxide, to soften the seed kernel in order to help separate the kernel’s various components. For example, wet-milling plants can separate a bushel of corn into more than 31 pounds of starch (which in turn can be converted into corn sweeteners or ethanol), 15 pounds of animal feed, and nearly 2 pounds of corn oil.
Areas of predominantly hydric soils that can support a prevalence of water-loving plants, know as hydrophitic vegetation. Transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems are wetlands typified by a water table at or near the surface, or the land is covered by shallow water at least part of the year. Types of wetlands are distinguished by water patterns (the frequency and length of flooding) and location in relation to upland areas and water bodies. Wetlands perform many functions including wildlife and fish habitat, storage and conveyance of flood waters, sediment and pollution control, and recreation. Under the swampbuster program, landowners may produce crops in these areas, but only if the water patterns, or hydrology, in the wetland area is not altered and any woody vegetation is not removed.
A program authorized by FACT Act of 1990 to provide long-term protection for wetlands. Producers enrolling in the program must agree to implement an approved wetlands restoration and protection plan. In return, participating producers receive payments based on the difference in the value of their land caused by placing an easement on a portion of it. The FAIR Act of 1996 limits enrollment of the WRP to 975,000 acres. USDA is required to divide new enrollments among permanent easements, 30-year easements, and restoration cost-share agreements. Previously, all enrollment had been permanent easements.
The Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association is a private, not-for-profit international trade development organization whose mission is to coordinate and consolidate export marketing and promotion programs in the Western region of the United States
The number of bushels (or pounds or hundredweight) that a farmer harvests per acre. Under the Food Security Act of 1985, the farm program payment yield was the farmer’s average yield for the 1981-1985 crop years, excluding the years when the yields were highest and lowest. Payment yields used to implement farm programs have remained frozen at the level fixed in the 1985 farm bill ever since.
Collecting data on the amount of production at regular intervals combined with GPS readings. The resulting yield map is basic to decisions about fertilization, pest control, and other adjustments in a system of precision farming.
In food safety policy, a "zero tolerance" standard generally means that if a potentially dangerous substance (whether microbiological, chemical, or other) is present in or on a product, that product will be considered adulterated and unfit for human consumption. In the meat and poultry inspection program, "zero tolerance" usually refers to USDA’s rule that permits no visible signs of fecal contamination (feces) on meat and poultry carcasses. See wash versus trim.
Refers to the 50/85 and 50/92 commodity program provisions for rice and cotton and the 0/85 and 0/92 commodity program provisions for wheat and feed grains that were in effect in various forms from 1986 through 1995. Under these provisions farmers could idle all or part of their permitted acreage, putting the land in a conserving use, and receive deficiency payments as if up to 92% of the permitted acreage had been planted. A minimum planting requirement of 50% of maximum payment acreage applied for rice and cotton. Under the FAIR Act of 1996, producers have no planting requirements but must observe appropriate conservation practices if the land remains idle.
Diseases that under natural conditions are communicable from animals to humans. Tuberculosis and rabies are examples of zoonotic diseases. Brucellosis in livestock becomes undulant fever in humans.