Agricultural Terms.

Definition of Farm:  Any establishment that normally produce and sells agricultural products. It is synonymously used with farming enterprise as well.  Source: (USDA Glossary in website)

Types of Farms:

There are basic six types of farms. They are:

  • Small Subsistence-oriented family farms.
  • Small semi-subsistence or part commercial family farms, usually of one half to two hectares, but area is not good criterion: the same basic structure can be found on much larger 20-30 hectares farms.
  • Small independent specialized family farms.
  • Small dependent specialized family farms, often with the family as tenants.
  • Large commercial farms, usually specialized and operated along modification estate lines.
  • Commercial estates, usually mono-crop and with hired management and absentee ownership.


Farm Structure:

Farm structure refers to farm size, and number, tenure patterns, legal organization (sole proprietorship or partnership or cooperation), the market arrangements under which farmers buy and sell, and the institutional arrangements (including the public sectors) influencing the farming industries

Reference (For above two terms):

Stanton, B.F., (March, 1991). Farm Structure: Concept and Definition. Cornell Agriculture Economics Staff Paper. (91) 6. Department of Agriculture Economics, Cornell University, New York. Retrieved in March 12, 2015 from

Definition of Small Farm: The US Small Business Administration defines small farms as one that is independently owned and operated for profit but not dominant in the field and makes annual revenue of $500,000 to $900,000 in agriculture sector with generally less than 5oo employ in the farm.


Irrigation Systems in KY Farms:

  • Drip Irrigation.
  • Sprinkler and turf Irrigation. (Multi Row Automatic Irrigation System)
  • Pump and overhead irrigation.
  • Pulse irrigation: Provides small interval of water to meet the moisture needs of plant in upper zone only.
  • Controlled Water Table Irrigation (CWT) System: Modification of traditional capillary mar irrigation system. Capillary mat is placed in smooth surface. One side (approx. 2 inches) for the capillary mat is suspended in trough of water maintained at a constant level (Water table) at or below the bench surface. A root barrier on top of the capillary mat prevents roots from growing into the mat but allows water movement to the container growing medium. The growing medium absorbs the water from the mat by capillary action.


Farm Sustainability:

The ability of farm to meet the need of present generation without compromising the ability of it to meet the demand of future generation which is also, economically efficient, ecologically compactible and socially responsible. There are two concepts of sustainability: strong sustainability, natural capacity to stay at the same level at two different point of time, and weak sustainability, natural and man-made capital are allowed to substitute each other.

Sustainability in agriculture has two dimensions: natural resource sustainability, based on the stability of agricultural ecosystem which is further based on soil, water and biodiversity interaction, and socio-economical sustainability. Natural resource sustainability measures the wealth of nature’s economy—biodiversity, soil fertility and soil and water conservation providing ecological capital for agriculture—and the foundation of all other economics.


Project Narrative: Assessment of Economic Efficiency and Sustainability of Small and Medium-sized farms in Kentucky.

Farm Diversification:

It is the process of creating diversity of crops in farm. It is characterized by dependency of small scale farmers upon several crops as well as mixed systems to meet their food demand and livelihood needs. Farmers seeks to balance between favorable condition of fertility, water and light as well as controlling weeds, diseases and pests. According to the dominant paradigm of production, diversity goes against productivity.


Farm Succession:

The process of transferring ownership, management and income of farm as well as farm operation’s assets to succeeding operator is known as farm succession. This issue is faced by all farmers who are involved in successful farm operation. Two things are vital for the farm succession and its planning viz. senior farmer’s farm still viable or productive after his/her retirement and the farm is fetching enough money to continue the business.  The risks that can reduce the productivity and efficiency of farm are inadequate management training, critical asset diffusion, poor estate plan, limited retirement planning requiring liquidation of farm assets and unsolved disagreements between the parties.


Farm Efficiency:

Economics aspect of farm efficiency focus on ability of firms to utilize best available technology and to allocate resource in most productive way, which arises from three different sources viz. technical, allocative and scale sufficiency. Technical efficiency refers to utilization of best technology available; allocative efficiency refers to maximization of revenue and thus profitability by allocating resource in a way to that best reduce the cost of production; and scale efficiency refers to the appropriate size of farm to obtain maximum profit or earning without reconstructing or reorganizing the farm resources. Technical Efficiency is positively related to short-term debt, tax liability and capital investment whereas long term debt has no effect on production efficiency and return on assets. Also, small farms are found to be more technically efficient and thus have higher net farm income per hectare compared to larger farms.


Farm Productivity:

Farm productivity can be measured in number of methods land productivity—yield or income generation per unit of areas—being most common. Some other form of farm productivity are water productivity—volume of produce or revenue per unit of water and labor productivity—return per unit of labor. Land productivity is computed as output (in international dollar) divided by unit of land (Ha.) and labor productivity is computed as output (in international dollar) divided by active population in agriculture. Three types of productivity though move in same direction, not necessarily go together. For example, Nepal, Bangladesh, India have both high land productivity and labor productivity, whereas countries like Iraq, Saudi Arabia Libya and South Africa have low land productivity and high labor productivity.


Types of Farm Ownership:

Kentucky grain farms, basically, are of three types based on farm ownerships viz. Rented, Crop Shared and Owned.


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