Glossary of Terminology

ACID SOIL - Soil with a reaction somewhat below pH 7.0 (Usually below pH 6.6) ; more technically, a soil having a preponderance of hydrogen ions over hydroxyl ions in solution.

AFTERMATH - Recovery growth of forage plants after harvesting by either animal or machine.

ALKALI SOIL – Soil containing excessive amounts of alkaline salts, usually sodium carbonate; pH of 8.5 or higher.

ALKALINE SOIL – Soil with a pH above 7.0

ANNUAL – Plant that completes its life cycle from seed in one (year) growing season.

STRONG>ANNUAL, WINTER – Plant species that initiates growth in the fall, lives overwinter, and dies after producing seed the following season.

ANTHESIS – The state of expansion in a flower; full bloom.

AURICLE - An ear-like lobe, process, or appendage.

AXIL - The angle between a branch or leaf and the stem from which it


BAND-SEEDING - Placing forage crop seed in rows directly above but not in contact with a band of fertilizer.

BASAL NODE - The node or joint at the base of the stem.

BIENNIAL - Plant that normally requires two years to reach maturity, producing leaves in the first year. blooming and producing seed in the second year, and then dying.

BLADE – The leaf of a grass or cereal plant.

BLOAT – Excessive accumulation of gas in the rumen of animals.

BOOT STAGE - Growth stage of grasses at the time the head is

enclosed by the sheath of the uppermost leaf.

BRACT – A leaf from the axil of which a flower arises.

CEREAL FORAGE - Cereal (small grain) crop harvested when immature

for either hay. silage, 003366 chop or as pasturage.

CHLOROSIS – Yellowing or blanching of leaves and other parts of chlorophyll-bearing plants; usually caused by a mineral deficiency.

CLONE – Individual plant propagated vegetatively by rooting portions from a single original plant.

COMPANION CROP – Crop sown with another crop, usually a small gain with which a forage crop is seeded. Preferred to the term “nurse crop. ”

COOL-SEASON GRASS - Grass species adapted to rapid growth during the cool moist periods of the year; usually dormant during hot weather or injured by it.

CORM – A short, bulb-like, underground upright stem.

CROWN – The junction of the stem and the root in a grass or legume plant.

CULM – The jointed stem of a grass plant.

COUMARIN – White. crystalline compound (C9H6O2) with a vanilla like odor; gives sweetclover its distinctive odor.

COUMESTROL – Estrogenic factor occurring naturally in forage crops, especially in ladino clover, strawberry clover, and alfalfa.

CROSS INOCULATION - Inoculation of one legume species by the symbiotic bacteria from another.

CROWN - Base of the stem where roots arise.

CULM - Jointed stem of a grass.

CULTIVAR – (derived from “cultivated variety”) International term

denoting an assemblage of cultivated plants that is clearly distinguishable by any characteristics and that. when reproduced, sexually or asexually, retains its distinguishing characters. In the U.S. “variety” is synonymous with “cultivar.”

DECREASER - Forage or range plant that gradually is replaced by other species in the stand.

DICOUMAROL – Chemical compound produced micro biologically from coumarin; found in spoiled sweetclover hay.

DIPLOID – Having two sets of chromosomes; body tissues of higher plants and animals ordinarily are diploid.

ESTROGENIC – Pertaining to any hormonal substance capable of producing estrus in a female animal.

FIELD CAPACITY – (water) Amount of moisture remaining in soil after free water (gravitational) has drained away.

FLORET – A small flower: one of a cluster of small flowers which form the head of a plant such as clover.

FORAGE – Herbaceous plants or plant parts fed to domestic animals (generally the term refers to such material as pasturage, hay, silage, dehy. and 003366 chop in contrast to less digestible plant material known as roughage: to graze.

FORAGE QUALITY – Characteristics that make forage valuable to animals as a source of nutrients. Considered by some as synonymous with feeding value and nutritive value.

GLABROUS – Smooth, having a surface without hairs or projections.

GLUME – The chaffy bract, one of two bracts of the base of the spikelet in grasses.

GRASS – Botanically, any plant of the family Gramineae. Generally, in grassland agriculture the term does not include cereals when grown for grain but. does include forage species of legumes often grown in association with grasses.

GRASS TETANY – (Hypomagnesia) Condition of cattle and sheep marked by tetanic staggers. convulsions, coma. and frequently death: characterized by a low level of blood magnesium.

003366 CHOP – Mechanically harvested forage fed to animals while it is fresh and succulent. Preferred to “soiling,” “zero grazing,” or “003366 feed.”

003366 MANURE - Crop grown and plowed under to improve the soil.

HAYLAGE – Product resulting form ensiling forage with about 45% moisture, in the absence of oxygen.

HERBAGE - Leaves. stems. and other succulent parts of forage plants upon which animals feed. See also Forage.

HUMUS – The organic fraction of soil in which decomposition is so far advanced that its original form is not distinguishable.

HYBRID – Product of a cross between individuals of unlike genetic constitution or makeup.

HYDROCYANIC ACID (HCN) – Poison, also called prussic acid, produced as a glucoside by several plant species. especially sorghums and common sudangrass.

INCREASER – Forage plant on the range that spreads under existing management.

INFLORESCENCE – Flowering part of a plant.

INOCULATION – Addition of effective rhizobia (bacteria) to legume seed prior to planting for the purpose of promoting nitrogen fixation.

INTERNODE – The portion of a plant stem between its joints or nodes.

LEGUME – Plant member of the family Leguminosae, with the characteristic of forming nitrogen-fixing nodules on its roots, in this way making use of atmospheric nitrogen.

LEMMA – The lower of the two bracts enclosing the flower in the spikelet of grasses.

MEADOW - Area covered with grasses and/or legumes grown primarily or hay.

MULCH - Any non-living plant material that forms a covering on the soil surface.

NATIVE GRASS - Grass species indigenous to an area; not introduced from another environment or area.

NEUTRAL SOIL – Neither acid nor alkaline, with a pH of 7 or (practically) between 6.6 and 7.3.

NODE - Joint of a culm or stem.

NODULE - Tubercle, particularly such as is formed on legume roots by the symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria of the genus Rhizobium. See also Inoculate.

STRONG>NURSE CROP – See Companion Crop.

NUTRIENT, PLANT – Element essential to plant growth used in the elaboration of food and tissue.

NUTRITIVE VALUE – Characterizes a forage or feed as to its chemical composition, digestibility, and nature of digested products.

ORGANIC MATTER - Chemical compounds of carbon combined with other chemical elements and generally manufactured in the life process of plants and animals. Most organic compounds are a source of food for bacteria and are usually combustible.

PALATABILITY - Plant characteristics eliciting a choice between two or more forages or parts of the same forage, conditioned by the animal and environmental factors that stimulate intake response.

PALEA - The upper bract which, with the lemma, encloses the flower in grasses.

PANICLE – Inflorescence with a main stem and subdivided clusters; may be compact as in timothy or a pyramidal loosely branches flower cluster such as fescue.

PASTURAGE - Vegetation on which animals graze, including grasses or grasslike plants. legumes, forbs, and shrubs.

PASTURE – Fenced area of domesticated forages. usually improved. on which animals are grazed: to graze. See also Range.

PASTURE, PERMANENT - Pasture of perennial or self-seeding annual plants maintained through several years for grazing.

PASTURE RENOVATION – Improvement of a pasture by the partial removal or complete destruction of the sod, plus liming, fertilizing. seeding. and weed control as may be required to establish desirable forage plants.

PEDUNCLE – The primary stalk supporting either a cluster 9r a solitary flower.

PETIOLE – The slender stem which supports the blade of a foliage leaf; the leaf stalk.

pH – The pH scale is the measure of acidity and alkalinity; pH 7 is neutral: pH above 7 represents alkalinity and below, acidity. The scale is logarithmic; a solution with a pH of 4 is 100 times as acid as one with a pH of 6 and 10 times as acid as one with a pH of 5.

PHOTOSYNTHESIS – Process by which carbohydrates are produced from CO2 and water, chloroplasts or chlorophyll-bearing cell granules. and the energy of sunlight.

PRUSSIC ACID – See Hydrocyanic acid.

PURE LIVE SEED (PLS) – Percentage of the content of a seed lot that is pure and viable; determined by multiplying the percentage of pure seed by the percentage of viable seed (germination percentage) and dividing by 100. (Example: 98% pure seed times 90% germination divided by 100 = 88.2% pure live seed.)

RACEME – The type of inflorescence in which the spikelets are arranged singly along a common main axis. or rachis.

RACHIS – The axis of a spikelet or receme.

RANGE – Land and native vegetation that is predominately grasses. grasslike plants, forbs. or shrubs suitable for grazing or browsing and present in sufficient quantity to justify grazing use.

RANGE MANAGEMENT – Producing maximum sustained use of range forage

without jeopardy to other resources or uses of the land.

RESEEDING CULTIVAR – perpetuates itself by volunteering from shattered seed; usually made possible because of a high percentage of hard seed or seed with a high dormancy.

RHIZOBIA – Species of bacteria that live in symbiotic relationship with legumes in nodules on their roots; carry on the fixation of free or atmospheric nitrogen in forms used as nutrients be the host legumes.

RHIZOME – Underground root-like stem. usually horizontal and which produces new shoots and roots at the nodes or buds.

RUMEN – First compartment of the stomach of a ruminant or cud chewing animal.

SALINE SOIL – Soil containing an excess of soluble salts, but no excessively alkaline; pH less than 8.5.

SCARIFICATION – Procedure of mechanically scarring the seed coat of “hard” or impermeable seed to permit the rapid absorption o water to make germination possible.

SEED, HARD - With a seed coat impervious to the water or oxygen necessary for germination; common in legume seed and mad germinable by scarification.

SILAGE -Forage preserved in a succulent condition by partial fermentation in an oxygen-free atmosphere, or silo; the plant material generally has a moisture content about 65%.

SOD – Top few centimeters of soil permeated by and held together with grass roots or grass-legume roots.

SOIL TILTH – Physical condition of a soil in respect to its fitness for good plant growth.

SPIKELET – One of the small few-flowered bracted spikes which make up the compound inflorescence of grasses -consisting of two glumes and one or more florets.

STIPULE - One of the pair of appendages borne at the base of the leaf in many plants.

STOLON – Trailing or creeping stem at or below the soil surface capable of rooting and sending up new shoots at the nodes.

SWARD – Sward, turf. and sod may seem nearly synonymous. Sward usually refers to the grassy surface of a pasture. lawn or playing field; vegetation may be of pure or mixed species turf and sod refer to the layer of earth filled with gras roots as well as to the surface.

SYMBIOSIS - The living together of dissimilar organisms in a mutually advantageous partnership.

TILLER - Branch or shoot originating at a basal node in grasses.

TILTH - Physical condition of a soil in respect to its fitness for plant growth.

TOP-DRESSING - Application of fertilizer anytime after establishment of a crop.

VARIETY - See Cultivar.

VEGETATIVE - Term used to designate stem and leaf development in contrast to flower and seed development.

WARM-SEASON GRASS – A grass species that makes its major growth during the warmer part of the year. Preferred to “hot weather.”