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Bayer Crop Science Glossary
Aflatoxin

A mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus fungi, which grow whenever conditions are favorable (high moisture and temperature). Occurs in many diverse sources, ranging from major cereal crops to peanut butter, nuts and spices. Aflatoxins are genotoxic and among the most carcinogenic substances known. The main target organ in humans is the liver, but the risk of developing gallbladder cancer is also increased.

Agronomic Evaluation

Growth and development of the plant is as intended

Arable Land

Land used for agriculture to grow food, animal feed, biofuel, etc.

Biodiversity

Biological diversity means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

Biofuels

Any fuel derived from living plant matter.

Biotechnology

Biotechnology, or genetic engineering, is the process of using living organisms to improve qualities of a plant such as the plant’s ability to protect itself against damage or improving upon its ability to grow and produce.

Buffer Strips

Small strips of land kept in permanent vegetation, located between primary crops, for the purpose of intercepting pollutants, slowing erosion and managing environmental concerns. These strips often also provide habitat for native wildlife and pollinators.

Conservation Tillage

Conservation tillage includes all forms of reduced tillage. Tillage is the practice of plowing soil to prepare it for planting or after harvest to remove crop debris from the field. For example, ”no-till” involves no disturbance of the soil; and “reduced-till” or “strip-till” involves minimal disturbance. The benefits of this practice include improved moisture retention and reduced soil erosion.

Corn Stover

Stalks, leaves, and cobs that remain in a cornfield after harvest. These materials are the primary source for cellulosic ethanol production and can at times be gathered for animal feeds or grazed. Also referred to as crop residue.

Cover Crops

Cover crops are planted between growing seasons of a farmer’s primary cash crop, for the purpose of improving soil health, reducing erosion, improving soil fertility, and/or reducing soil compaction. There are three primary types of cover crops: tubers like the Tillage Radish; grasses like cereal rye, oats or annual rye grass; and legumes like clover. These cover crops are at times grazed or harvested, but most commonly are terminated through winter freeze or prior to the next crop planting season.

Crop Protection

Crop protection is the collection of tools, products, and best practices farmers use to protect their crops from the negative impact of weeds, pests, and disease.

Crop Residue

Plant material that remains after harvest. Can include stalks, leaves, and roots.

Crop Rotation

A planned sequence of planting crops over time on the same field. Rotating crops provides productivity benefits by improving soil nutrient levels and breaking crop pest cycles.

Data Analytics

Qualitative and quantitative processes used to enhance productivity and business gain. In agriculture, analytics help farmers become more efficient with their resources, more precise with the timing and rate of inputs, and reduces impact on the environment in the process.

Dossiers

Compilation of all study reports and accompanying documents necessary to register an active substance or a plant protection product.

Drain Tile

Piping systems, most commonly corrugated plastic tubing, that are placed underneath the soil to remove excess water from a field of crops. This allows roots to develop to their desired depth and removes standing water from lower portions of the field. This also assists in minimizing erosion by helping excess water exit the field.

EC50

Half maximal effective concentration (EC50) refers to the concentration of a substance which induces a response halfway between the baseline and maximum after a specified exposure time, i.e. the rate at which 50% of the maximal effect is observed

Ecological Interactions

Such as weediness, potential gene flow to wild relatives, susceptibility to disease, and impacts on plant/insect interactions.

Environmental Safety Margin

A safety margin is the factor that is added to account for uncertainties. For example, if a chronic test in fish showed no effects at 10μg/L, an assessment factor of 10 is still added, meaning that the acceptable concentration in water would be only 1μg/L. Safety factors in environmental risk assessments vary depending on area and test system, and are typically higher for the assessment of acute effects than for chronic effects.

ER50

Half maximal effective rate (ER50) refers to the rate of a substance which induces a response halfway between the baseline and maximum after a specified exposure time, i.e. the rate at which 50% of the maximal effect is observed.

Germplasm

Living genetic resources such as seeds or plant tissues that are maintained for the purpose of plant breeding, preservation, and other research uses.

Good Laboratory Practice

Quality System, providing the formal framework for the conditions under which non-clinical health and environmental safety studies are planned, performed, monitored, recorded, reported, and archived. The details are laid down in legislative regulations as OECD Advisory Documents, EPA and FDA Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) rules and other national laws as e.g. German Chemical Law.

Grid Sampling

Designed to support precise approaches to nutrient management, grid sampling is the practice of taking multiple samples of soil per acre. Traditional soil sampling densities were 1 or 2 samples for every 3 or 4 acres. Grid sampling calls for as many as 42 samples per acre which are mapped and flagged throughout the field digitally, leading to an improved understanding of variability in soil nutrient needs on across the field.

Hybrid

Hybrid seeds are created using traditional breeding methods where two different but compatible plants are crossbred to create a new plant — also known as a hybrid. 

Intrinsic Hazard

The inherent property of an agent or situation which has the potential to cause adverse effects when an organism, system or population is exposed to that agent, based on its chemical, physical or biological characteristics (e.g. the intrinsic hazard of sharp knife is to cut).

LC50

Median lethal concentration (LC50) is an indication of the lethal toxicity of a given substance, representing a concentration at which 50% of subjects die.

LD50

Median lethal dose (LD50) is an indication of the lethal toxicity of a given substance, representing a dose at which 50% of subjects die.

LR50

Lethal rate (LR50) is an indication of the lethal toxicity of a given substance, representing a rate at which 50% of subjects die.

Microbials

In agriculture, microbial products are those made from microorganisms to help protect crops from disease and pests, and to encourage healthy growth.

Monoculture

The practice of planting a single crop type in a particular region or field often for an extended period, one planting cycle after another.

MRL

(Maximum Residue Level) The potential residues on a harvested crop are regulated by maximum level. 

NOAEL

(No Observable Adverse Effect Level) The highest dose where no recognizable harmful effects are observed. 

NOEC

No observable effect concentration, the concentration of a substance at which no effects were seen.

NOEL

No observable effect level, the level of exposure at which no effects of the substance were seen.

Non-target Organism Evaluations

Impacts on animal wildlife, like pollinators, including endangered species.

Nutrient Management

The process of managing the amount, source, timing, and method of nutrient (fertilizer) application, with the goal of optimizing farm productivity while minimizing nutrient losses that could create environmental problems.

Pesticide

Any substance or mixture of substances used to alter the life cycle of any pest. They can be naturally derived or synthetically produced.

Herbicide: pesticide for weeds
Insecticide: pesticide for insects
Fungicide: pesticide for fungus
Miticide: pesticide for mites
Nematicide: pesticide for nematodes

Pesticides

"Any substance or mixture of substances used to alter the life cycle of any pest. They can be naturally derived or synthetically produced.

Herbicide: pesticide for weeds
Insecticide: pesticide for insects
Fungicide: pesticide for fungus
Miticide: pesticide for mites
Nematicide: pesticide for nematodes"

Phenotypic Evaluation

Plant physically looks and functions as intended

Plant Breeding

Plant breeding has historically been defined as the cross-breeding of plants in order to develop offspring containing a desired characteristic found in one or both of the parents. 

Polycuture

The practice of planting more than one crop at a time in a particular region or field.

Precision Agriculture

Precision agriculture is the use of advanced technology, equipment, and data analytics to improve crop production practices. Farmers analyze data from their machines, from their fields, and even from satellite imagery to help them be more efficient and accurate with their use of natural resources, such as water, soil, and fuel, as well as their use of inputs, such as fertilizer and crop protection products.

Safety Margin

A safety margin is the factor that is added to account for uncertainties. For example, if a chronic test in fish showed no effects at 10μg/L, an assessment factor of 10 is still added, meaning that the acceptable concentration in water would be only 1μg/L. Safety factors in environmental risk assessments vary depending on area and test system, and are typically higher for the assessment of acute effects than for chronic effects.

Scouting fields/Crops

Crop scouting, also known as field scouting, is the very basic action of traveling through a crop field, usually on foot, while making frequent stops for observations. Crop scouting is done so that a farmer can see how different areas of his or her field are growing and what stressors or pests may be present. If there are problems during the growing season, the farmer can work to mitigate them so those problems do not affect yield at harvest time.

Seed Treatments

Pesticides applied directly to a seed before planting, for the purpose of protecting seeds, seedlings, and plants from pests.

Soil Organic Material

Soil organic material is anything that was once alive and is now in or on the soil as it is decomposed into humus. Humus is organic material that has been decomposed by microorganisms and is readily changing form and mass as it decomposes.

Wood Chip Bioreactor

Simple trenches filled with wood chips that filter water running from drain tile on farms. Their use helps reduce nitrate runoff into nearby waterways.

Zearalenone

A mycotoxin produced by Fusarium fungi species. Occurs mainly in cereals and corn. A potent estrogenic metabolite. In livestock known to cause infertility, abortion, breeding problems through the alteration of the hormone balance. Exposure of humans through the diet poses health concern due to the onset of several sexual disorders and alterations in the development of sexual apparatus.