Sunday, May 1, 2011

English for Agriculture Unit 5 MONOCULTURE VOCABULARY

In this lesson you will study some of the key vocabulary we use when talking about monoculture. You will discuss some of the important issues involved and compare your information and ideas with those of your fellow students. At the end of the lesson you will write a short account of the monocultural practises in your country or region using some of the new vocabulary and structures you have studied in this lesson.

After completing this unit you should be able to:
  • Define the key words introduced in this lesson and use them appropriately in agricultural writing.
  • Use modifiers, noun phrases and verb phrases appropriately.
  • Discuss issues related to monoculture in your country or region using the vocabulary and grammar that you have learned.

This section introduces the important words (key and technical vocabulary) that will be used in the lesson. You should be sure that you understand these terms before you continue to the Reading.


annual (adj.) - every year
annually (adv.) - done or happening every year


  1. His salary is increased annually.
  2. He receives an annual increase in his salary.
cycles (n) -  events that follow regularly
  1. We are born, we get old and we die – this is our life cycle.
  2. Water moves from the land to the air and back to the land – this is the water cycle.
exception (n)  -  the different one, the only one that is different
  1. All the women in our village are beautiful. My wife is the only exception. (i.e. My wife is not beautiful)
  2. With the exception of mathematics, all my son's grades were good. (i.e. His mathematics grade was not good)
hoe (n) - farm tool used for cutting soil and removing weeds
instances (n) - examples, cases, times
  1. I can think of many instances when my old computer did not work.
  2. There are many instances of people recovering from cancer.
mechanization (n) - using machines
mechanize (v) - to use machines
mechanized (adj.)
mechanical (adj.)

  1. In Europe, most farms are highly mechanized.
  2. Many Asian farmers are not wealthy enough to be able to mechanize their operations.
mud (n) - soft, wet soil
muddy (adj.)

predominant (adj.) - most important
predominantly (adv.)

  1. Maize is the predominant crop in many parts of America.
  2. The population of Laos is predominantly Buddhist.
suitable (adj.) - good or correct for the situation, appropriate
suitably (adv.)

  1. This is a suitable book for young children.
  2. Am I suitably dressed for the party?
uniform (adj.) - the same
uniformly (adv.)
uniformity (n)

  1. These varieties do not produce similar yields – they are not uniform.
  2. We conducted 5 experiments, but the results were not the same – they were not uniform.
unobstructed (adj.) - not obstructed, with nothing in the way
  1. My hotel room had an unobstructed view of the sea.
  2. You can drive on now – the road is unobstructed.
zone (n)  - area
  1. Many countries have special industrial zones.
  2. Some countries say they don't want nuclear bombs – they say they are nuclear-free zones


cropping system - the method and techniques of growing crops

pest management - the understanding and control of pests

wheat belt - a long, narrow area where wheat is grown

soil tilth - the physical condition of the topsoil. A fine tilth consists of small, loose soil particles. A coarse tilth consists mostly of large clods.

rotation (n) - a cropping system in which two or more crops are grown in the same field but at different times.
rotate (v)
rotated (adj.)

clay (n) - sticky soil that becomes hard when dry
clayey (adj.)

silt (n) - sand and mud carried by flowing water
siltation (process)

organic matter (n) - material containing remains of living things, e.g. plants, animals, insects

decompose (v) - to become bad or rotten after dying (also: decay, rot)
decomposed (adj.)
decomposing (adj.)
decomposition (process)

soil structure - the physical condition of soil, how it is constructed

temperate zone - area of the world which does not get very hot or very cold
tropics - regions with hot climates between latitudes 23o north and 23o south

fertile (adj.) - able to produce, rich in nutrients
fertility (n) - level of nutrients in the soil
fertilize (v) - to put nutrients into the soil
fertilizer (material)

  1. Soils in that area are extremely fertile.( i.e. The soils are very good.  They can produce large amounts of crops.)
alfalfa (Medicago sativa) - also called 'lucerne'. A deep-rooted plant of the pea family.  Used extensively in the United States for fodder, pasture and as cover crop.


  1. Este es un gran mensaje. Me gusta el contenido de este postmucho. Gracias por compartir.
    Inglés en Valladolid

  2. Thank you for very good blog about present perfect tense. It's very nice.