Glossary Terms

Drainage (natural)

Refers to the capacity of unaltered soils to drain water through percolation, as opposed to artificial drainage, which is commonly the result of artificial drainage or irrigation but may be caused by the sudden deepening of channels or the blocking of drainage outlets.

Bearing capacity

The weight a soil can withstand before severe damage occurs to the structure of the soil. Bearing capacity varies throughout the year, based upon the moisture content of the soil. For instance a very heavy tractor that causes no damage on dry soils may cause a lot of damage to the soil structure of wetted [...]

Available soil water

Total amount of water in the root zone that is available for evapotranspiration, usually expressed in mm.


Underground reserve of freshwater usually contained in a discrete layer of water-permeable rock or other material (such as gravel, sand etc.) from which water can be extracted using a well or other appropriate extraction technology.


Synthetic biocide directed at destroying insects, nematodes, molluscs, mammals, plants, fungi or bacteria.

Mechanical weeding

The use of machines to bury, cut or uproot the weeds.

Biological control

The use of biological agents (intact organisms, components derived from organisms) to destroy or deter pests and diseases or to promote natural enemies.


A crop grown under a nurse crop and intended to become either a non-harvested crop grown in between two main crop seasons or become a main crop itself in a next season.


The process whereby plants lose water by evaporation of liquid water at the surface of the stomatal cells, the water vapour diffusing out through the leaf via the stomata openings.

Strip cropping

Growing crops in a systematic arrangement of strips or bands which provide vegetative barriers to wind and water erosion.