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Compost tea

An infusion made by leaching water through compost, sometimes with nutrients added, such as molasses and kelp, to encourage certain organisms. Soluble organic matter and the organisms in the compost are rinsed out of the solid phase and left suspended in the water. This "liquid compost" is easier to apply than solid compost.


Aerobic microbial decomposition and transformation of organic materials. It is usually achieved by regular turning and aeration of a stored organic product in piles with a geometry that can favour aeration. With this transformation, the chemical composition, particularly the C to N ratio comes closer to values needed for the net release of N once the product is land-applied. Concomitantly, the product may become less bulky due to the loss of water and also more manageable due to homogenisation. Additional benefits of composting involve the decrease in the initial phyto-toxicity of organic materials used, reduction in weed and pest infestation, and potential biocontrol effects.

Contour ploughing

Ploughing in a direction that follows the contour, maintaining the same elevation.

Contour strip cropping

Growing crops in strips that follow the contour line. Strips of grass or close-growing crops alternate with strips of clean-tilled crops or summer fallow.

Controlled traffic

Using the same traffic lanes for machinery used for different applications within one year and the same traffic lanes across years, usually supported by a sat-nav system, in order to reduce soil compaction.

Conventional farming

A farming method that includes the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and genetically modified organisms, allowing this type of farms to be less depending on cultural (crop rotation, inclusion of crops fixing atmospheric N), biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

Conventional tillage

Full width tillage that disturbs the entire soil surface which is generally performed prior to planting. It usually involves a primary operation by depth ploughing or chiselling (commonly to 20-30 cm depth), followed by secondary operation such as rotavating or harrowing that pulverizes, flattens, and firms the surface.

Cotton strip assay

Measures the amount of biological activity as determined by the degree of degradation of a standardized strip of cotton buried in the soil.

Cover crop

Non-harvested crop grown in between two main crop seasons, mainly intended to protect the structural aspects of soil fertility and reduce erosion.

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