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GLOSSARY OF AGROECOLOGICAL
TERMINOLOGY

Agroecology: Merges the science of ecology with agriculture, emphasizing sustainability, resilience, and social fairness within food systems.

Agroforestry: Integrates trees and shrubs into crop and animal farming systems to enhance biodiversity, sequester carbon, and boost overall productivity.

Biodiversity: Represents the variety of life within a particular ecosystem. In regenerative farming, practices such as crop rotation, cover cropping, and fostering native species are encouraged to promote biodiversity.

Carbon Farming: Refers to agricultural methods designed to sequester atmospheric carbon within the soil and the farm's vegetation as a strategy in combating climate change.

Carbon Sequestration: The process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. This natural method mitigates the effects of climate change and is a key benefit of regenerative farming.

Climate Positive: Goes beyond carbon neutrality, involving efforts to remove additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Composting: Transforms organic material like leaves, vegetable scraps, and manure into a nutrient-rich soil conditioner, critical for soil health.

Cover Crops: Also known as "green manure," these crops are grown primarily to benefit the soil, improving soil health, preventing erosion, and enhancing water availability.

Crop Rotation: A farming practice that involves growing different types of crops in the same area in sequential seasons. It's beneficial for soil health and helps reduce pest and disease pressure.

Diversified Pasture Swards: Incorporates a diverse mix of grasses, legumes, and herbs into pasture lands, supporting soil health, nutrient availability, and a thriving microbial community.

Enterprise Stacking: Refers to multiple, complementary agricultural enterprises within the same space, increasing productivity and resilience in a farming system.

Ethical Veterinary Practices: Practices that ensure the welfare of animals in terms of health, comfort, safety, and appropriate treatment.

Holistic Management: A farming approach that considers the interconnections within the ecosystem - including soil, plants, animals, and humans. It promotes practices that are economically viable, ecologically regenerative, and socially responsible.

Keyline Design: Maximizes the beneficial use of water resources within a landscape, improving water retention and soil fertility.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators): Metrics used to evaluate the success of an organization or of a particular activity in which it engages.

Livestock Rotation: Also known as rotational grazing, involves moving livestock between pastures on a regular basis to promote nutrient cycling, reduce the risk of overgrazing, and encourage the growth of diverse plant species.

Minimum Tillage & No-Till: Farming practices that aim to minimize soil disruption.

Natural Habitats: Areas where natural environmental conditions exist and species live in their natural state.

Open-Range and Pasture-Fed: Refers to animals that are allowed to roam freely outdoors and eat grass and other pasture plants.

Regenerative Farming: A rehabilitative approach to farming that seeks to enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm. It aims to build soil health, enhance biodiversity, and sequester carbon, among other benefits.

Responsible Water Stewardship: The responsible planning and management of water resources.

Sustainability: The ability to maintain a certain process or state indefinitely. In the context of farming, it refers to practices that do not deplete resources or harm the environment and can be continued indefinitely.

Synthetic Fertilisers: Man-made substances added to soil to enhance its fertility. Over-reliance on these fertilisers can be problematic due to high fossil fuel use in their production and their economic cost for farmers.

Synthetic Pesticides: Chemicals used to prevent, destroy, or repel pests. While they can protect crops from damage, overuse can lead to pest resistance, harm non-target organisms, and contaminate water and soil.

Perennial Crops: Plants that live and remain productive for more than two years, often with deep root systems that can capture more carbon, improve soil health, and reduce the need for plowing.

Polyculture: The cultivation of multiple crop species in the same space, which can improve biodiversity, resilience, and productivity compared to monoculture farming.

Silvopasture: A form of agroforestry that involves integrating trees, pasture, and livestock, promoting biodiversity and offering potential for carbon sequestration.

Soil Health: The condition of the soil, including its structure, nutrient content, biodiversity, and water-holding capacity. Soil health is crucial for plant growth and carbon sequestration.

Soil Organic Matter (SOM): Organic material in the soil, composed of plant and animal materials at various stages of decomposition, cells and tissues of soil organisms, and substances synthesized by soil organisms. SOM improves soil structure, nutrient and water-holding capacity, and biodiversity.

Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC): A certification that goes beyond organic to require holistic farming and business practices focusing on soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness.

Transition Finance: The funding that supports farmers and businesses as they transition from conventional to regenerative practices.

Water Cycle: The natural process of water circulation from the atmosphere to the earth and back again through evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and runoff. Regenerative farming practices can help improve this cycle on a local level.

Weed Management: The process of minimizing the impact of weeds on crop production and ecosystem health. In regenerative farming, this is often achieved through integrated weed management strategies that prioritize ecological balance over total eradication.

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