H-2A program: A program that permits employers to apply for nonimmigrant alien workers to perform work of a seasonal or temporary nature. The program is authorized by the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. The purpose of the H-2A program is to assure employers an adequate labor force, on the one hand, and to protect the jobs and wages of U.S. workers, on the other.
Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP): Ensures there is adequate minimizing and mitigating of the effects of an authorized incidental take. Incidental take permits are required when nonfederal activities will result in an incidental take of threatened species or endangered species. The purpose of the incidental take permit is to authorize the incidental take of a listed species, not to authorize the activities that result in take.
Habitat(s): The place where a population (human, animal, plant, or microorganism) lives and its surroundings, both living and nonliving.
HACCP: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System
HACCP-based Inspection Models Project (HIMP): A new inspection model, developed by the Food Safety and Inspection Service, for processing plants that slaughter young, healthy, and uniform animals. The project is a natural extension of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System (HACCP) in all meat and poultry plants. Under the project, the FSIS established performance standards for food safety and nonfood safety conditions. Plants must extend their HACCP systems to address the food safety conditions, and develop process control plans to address nonfood safety conditions. Plants are responsible for identifying and removing carcasses that do not meet these standards. Under HIMP, as under regular HACCP, a federal inspector still inspects all carcasses and makes the determination as to whether a carcass is adulterated. Also, a verification inspector takes plant records and samples of products for examination, focusing on the HACCP and process control plans and whether the plant is meeting relevant carcass performance standards.
Handle (wool): The degree to which all the attributes that comprise quality, such as softness, fineness, length, and elasticity, are noticeable when wool is judged by feel.
Handle(s)(d); handling: Generally, the receiving or acquisition of an agricultural product and the subsequent processing, packaging, or storage of such products. See Grain handling.
Handler(s): (1) Any person who operates a pool plant or nonpool plant, or who receives packaged fluid milk products from a plant for resale and distribution to retail or wholesale outlets, or who as a broker negotiates a purchase or sale of fluid milk products from or to any pool plant or nonpool plant, or by purchase or direction causes milk of producers to be picked up at the farm or moved to a plant. It also includes any cooperative association that receives milk from the farm of a producer and delivers the milk to pool plants or diverts to nonpool plants. (2) Under the Agricultural Fair Practices Act, any person (a) in the business of acquiring agricultural products from producers or associations for processing or sale; or (b) grading, packaging, handling, storing, or processing agricultural products received from producers or associations of producers; or (c) contracting or negotiating contracts or other arrangements, written or oral, with or on behalf of producers or associations of producers, with respect to the production or marketing of any agricultural product; or (d) acting as an agent or broker for a handler. (3) Any person engaged in the business of handling agricultural products, except final retailers of agricultural products that do not process such products. (4) For a fruit and vegetable marketing order commodity, anyone who receives a commodity from a producer, grades and packs it, and sells the commodity to anyone who is responsible for selling, transporting, or causes the transportation of the commodity to market.
Handling: See Handle(s)(d); handling.
Handling operation: Any operation or portion of an operation (except final retailers of agricultural products that do not process agricultural products) that receives or otherwise acquires agricultural products and processes, packages, or stores such products.
Hanging weight: The weight of the carcass before any fat and bone have been trimmed.
Hank: A definite length of yarn that varies according to the material. Traditionally, a hank of wool is 560 yards; cotton and silk, 840 yards; and linen, 300 yards. In the U.S., however, a hank of woolen yarn is generally 1,600 yards.
Hard currency: A currency widely used as a means of exchange in international transactions.
Hard lock(s): A condition, believed to be caused by excessive heat and humidity, whereby cotton fibers fail to fluff out at maturity and stay attached to the inside of the boll, thus making picking difficult.
Hard products: A term generally referring to the more storable manufactured dairy products such as butter, nonfat dry milk, cheeses other than cottage cheese, and evaporated or condensed milk.
Hard red spring wheat: Triticum aestivum; a common spring-seeded wheat high in protein with either a hard endosperm or vitreous with soft endosperm; used primarily to produce bread flour.
Hard red winter wheat: Triticum aestivum; a common wheat that is fall-seeded; may be either dark hard, hard, or yellow hard; a medium- to high-protein wheat; either with a hard endosperm or vitreous with soft endosperm; used primarily to produce bread flour.
Hard seeds: Seeds that, because of hardness or impermeability, do not absorb moisture or germinate under prescribed tests, but remain hard during the period prescribed for germination.
Hard wheat: A generic term applied to wheat that, due to variety or breeding in combination with environmental influences, has a vitreous endosperm suitable for making bread flour or macaroni semolina. Hard wheat yields coarse, gritty flour that is free-flowing and easily sifted, consisting of regular-shaped particles that are mostly whole endosperm cells.
Hard white wheat: See Hard wheat, and White wheat.
Hard White Wheat Incentive Payments (HWWIP): As authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Sec. 1616), a new three-year, $20 million Farm Service Agency program designed to increase the number of bushels of hard white wheat produced in the U.S. for the 2003 through 2005 crop years. The program offers a production incentive in the amount of 20 cents per bushel at a maximum of 60 bushels for each planted acre. An additional incentive in the amount of two dollars per acre is provided for each acre planted to certified seed. Producers are eligible to earn both the production incentive and the certified seed incentive in the same year. The total Commodity Credit Corporation outlay for the three years is to be based on not more than two million acres or the equivalent volume of production. Both hard white winter wheat and hard white spring wheat are eligible for payment.
Hardening: Gradual exposure of greenhouse plants to colder temperatures, drier conditions, reduced light, or reduced fertility in preparation for transplanting outdoors.
Hardness: The sorting of wheat into classes based on four distinct hardness ranges within a sample set: soft, semi-soft, semi-hard, and hard. See Wheat classes.
Hardpan: The compaction of the soil, usually caused by tillage, where there is less space for water and air between soil particles. It is also known as traffic pan, plow pan, wheel compaction, and disk pan.
Hardwood(s): Generally, a deciduous, broadleaved species of trees.
Harmonization: The effort to replace the variety of product standards and other regulatory trade policies adopted by individual nations in favor of the establishment, recognition, and application of uniform global standards.
Harmonized system (HS): A schedule of tariff nomenclature arranged in six-digit codes, allowing all participating countries to classify traded goods on a common basis. Beyond the six-digit level, countries are free to introduce national distinctions for tariff or statistical purposes.
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS): A comprehensive classification of goods specifying the duty that U.S. Customs authorities assess against each imported item.
Harrow: An implement set with spikes, springs, or disks used to pulverize and smooth soil. See Disk(s).
Harrowing: The use of a harrow to pulverize and smooth soil.
Harvard Risk Assessment: In April 1998, the USDA commissioned the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis to conduct an analysis and evaluation of the current measures implemented by the federal government to prevent the spread of BSE in the U.S. and to reduce the potential exposure of Americans to the BSE agent. The risk assessment reviewed available scientific information related to BSE and other TSEs, assessed pathways by which BSE could potentially occur in the U.S., and identified measures that could be taken to protect human and animal health in the U.S. The Harvard study concluded that if introduced, due to the peventive measures currently in place, BSE is extrememly unlikely to become established in the U.S. Should BSE enter the U.S., the Harvard study concluded that only a small amount of potentially infective tissues would likely reach the human food supply and be available for human consumption.
Harvest price: The price used to calculate gross revenue for revenue insurance products. The harvest price is determined by averaging Chicago Board of Trade futures contracts during the fall.
Harvested cropland: Land from which crops are harvested or hay is cut, all land in orchards, citrus groves, Christmas trees, vineyards, nurseries, and greenhouses. Land from which two or more crops are harvested is counted only once.
Hatch Act (funds) (formula funds): The Hatch Act of 1887 authorized federal grant funds for direct payment to each state that would establish an agricultural experiment station in connection with an 1862 land grant university. Hatch Act funds are administered by CSREES and provided to the various state agricultural experiment stations on a formula basis, taking into account the size of the agricultural activity in the state and the number of producers. The formula was adopted in 1955 and provides for each state to receive what it received in 1955 as a base amount. Sums appropriated in excess of the 1955 level are distributed as follows: 20 percent is allotted equally to each state; 52 percent is allocated on the basis of a state’s share of U.S. rural and farm population; a maximum of 25 percent is allocated to the states for research projects that involve more than one state; and 3 percent is reserved for administration. A 100% nonfederal match is required for all recipients except for Insular Areainstitutions, which are required to provide a 50% nonfederal match (Section 7213 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002). On average, Hatch Act formula funds constitute 10 percent of total funding for each state agricultural experiment station. Hatch Act funds can be used to support research in crop, animal, forest, and natural resources; people, communities, and institutions; competition, trade, adjustment, price, and income policy; and food science and human nutrition. See Formula funds.
Hatch Act (funds, formula funds): The Hatch Act of 1887 authorized federal grant funds for direct payment to each state that would establish an agricultural experiment station in connection with an 1862 land grant university. These formula funds are provided on the basis of the size of agricultural activity in and the relative rurality of each state. Hatch funds can be used to support research in crop, animal, forest, and natural resources; people, communities, and institutions; competition, trade, adjustment, price, and income policy; and food science and human nutrition. See Formula funds.
Hatch Act of 1887 (7 U.S.C. §§ 361a et seq.; 24 Stat. 440): Signed into law March 2, 1887. The permanent statute authorizing the providing of federal funds to state agricultural experiment stations. Congress last amended the Act in 1955, adding a formula that the USDA uses to allocate the annualappropriations among the states. The formula provides for each state to receive what it received in 1955 as a base amount. Sums appropriated in excess of the 1955 level are distributed as follows: 20 percent is allotted equally to each state; 52 percent is allocated on the basis of a state’s share of U.S. rural and farm population; a maximum of 25 percent is allocated to the states for research projects that involve more than one state; and 3 percent is reserved for administration. On average, Hatch Act formula funds constitute 10 percent of the total funding for each state agricultural experiment station.
Hatch Act of 1887 (7 U.S.C. §§ 361a et seq.; 24 Stat. 440): Signed into law March 2, 1887. The permanent statute authorizing the providing of federal funds to state agricultural experiment stations (50 states, the District of Columbia, and the insular areas of Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, Micronesia, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands). Congress last amended the Act in 1955, adding a formula that the USDA uses to allocate the annual appropriations among the states. See Hatch Act (funds) (formula funds).
Hatch Act of 1887 (7 U.S.C. §§ 361a et seq.; 24 Stat. 440): Signed into law March 2, 1887. The permanent statute authorizing the providing of federal funds to state agricultural experiment stations (50 states, the District of Columbia, and the insular areas of Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, Micronesia, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands). Congress last amended the Act in 1955, adding a formula that the USDA uses to allocate the annual appropriations among the states. See Hatch Act (funds) (formula funds).
Hatch Act of 1887 (7 U.S.C. §§ 361a et seq.): Signed into law March 2, 1887. See Hatch Act (funds, formula funds).
Hatchery: A facility for hatching eggs. Fertilized eggs are placed into an incubator that maintains conditions favorable for hatching. Chicken eggs will hatch 21 days after they are set; turkey eggs after 28 days.
Hay: Animal forage (typically produced from alfalfa, clover, perennial grasses, or annual grasses such as oats) that has been cut, dried, and baled.
Hayed; haying: The removal of vegetation for silage, hayage, forage, or green chop.
Haying and grazing: Discretionary use of diverted acres such as Conservation Reserve Program land that otherwise would be committed to conserving uses. Haying is the removing of vegetation for silage, hayage, forage, or green chop. Grazing is the removal of vegetation by livestock grazing.
Haylage: A product resulting from ensiling forage with about 45 percent moisture in the absence of oxygen.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system: A food production tool that assesses potential hazards, determines critical control points (CCPs), establishes requirements for each CCP, monitors procedures, and outlines corrective actions, record-keeping requirements, and steps to verify that the HACCP plan is working. The system was conceived by the national space program to solve problems in designing its first foods for astronauts.
Hazardous air pollutants: See Toxic air pollutants; toxics.
Hazardous Materials Management: An account under Title I, Agricultural Programs, of agricultural appropriations. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the USDA has the responsibility to meet the same standards regarding the storage and disposition of hazardous materials as private businesses. The USDA is required to contain, clean up, monitor, and inspect for hazardous materials in areas under its jurisdiction.
Hazardous waste: A waste, or combination of wastes, which because of its quantity; concentration; or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics may cause or significantly contribute to an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness, or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health, safety, welfare, or to the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, used, or disposed of, or otherwise managed.
Hazardous Waste Management: An account under Title I, Agricultural Programs, of agricultural appropriations. The Commodity Credit Corporation program is intended to ensure compliance with Comprehensive Enviornmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. TheCCC funds operations and maintenance costs as well as site investigation and cleanup expenses. Investigative and cleanup costs associated with the management of CCC hazardous waste are also paid from USDA’s hazardous waste management appropriation.
HCNP: Homeless Children Nutrition Program
HCP: Habitat Conservation Plan
Head rice; heads: The portion of total milled rice consisting of whole kernels.
Header: See Combine header.
HealthierUS Initiative: A Presidential initiative bringing together federal agencies to promote the vital health benefits of simple improvements in physical activity, nutrition, and behavior. Simple improvements include modest increases in physical activity; the consumption of more nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables and the avoidance of excessive portions; regular preventive health screenings like cholesterol screens or a blood pressure checks; and the avoidance of any risky behaviors, especially involving alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. The USDA supports the initiative through its nutrition education activities throughout various agencies including the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the Food and Nutrition Service that administers theFood Stamp Program, Child Nutrition Programs, the WIC Program, and through extension activities administered by the Cooperative, State Research, Education and Extension Service.
Healthy Eating Index: A measure of overall dietary quality developed by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in 1995. The Index provides a single summary measure of how well one’s diet conforms to USDA’s nutrition recommendations contained in its Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Food Guide Pyramid. The Index factors in such dietary practices as consumption of total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and the variety of foods in the diet.
Healthy Meals for Healthy Americans Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-448): Signed into law October 2, 1994. The Act revises, expands, and reauthorizes adult and child nutrition programs, provides for administrative streamlining, and requires coordination of nutrition education.
Healthy Meals for Healthy Children Act (P.L. 104-149): Signed into law May 29, 1996. The Act permits schools to use any reasonable approach to meet certain school lunch and breakfast dietary guidelines.
Heaped bushel: A unit of volume in the U.S. that traditionally has been the volume of a bushel container filled to overflowing. Officially, the heaped bushel should equal 1.278 regular, or struck bushels.
Heat; heat cycle: See Estrous cycle, and Estrus.
HEC: Higher Education Challenge Grants Program
Hectare(s): One hectare equals 2.471 acres. To convert hectares to acres, multiply by 2.471. One square mile equals 259 hectares.
Hedge to arrive: A grain marketing cash forward contract that allows producers to lock in a particular futures contract month price. The basis portion of the contract would be established at a later date. The price received is the locked-in futures price less the basis at the time of sale. The price must be established before delivery is made.
Hedge(s), hedging: A method used by traders in commodity markets to counterbalance a purchase or cash market position by making an opposite transaction in the futures market, thereby reducing the risk of adverse price changes.
Hedger: One who hedges; one who attempts to transfer the risk of price change by taking an opposite and equal position in the futures or futures option market from that position held in the cash market.
Hedgerow(s): Trees or shrubs grown closely together so that the branches intertwine to form a continuous row. See Conservation buffer(s) strip(s).
Heifer(s): Young female cattle, usually not yet bred, that are typically under three years of age.
Heiferrette: A heifer that has calved once and is then fed for slaughter; the calf has usually died or been weaned at an early age.
Hemicellulose: A polymer of five- and six-carbon sugars found in biomass, along with cellulose and lignin.
HEP: Higher Education Programs
Heptachlor: An insecticide used extensively in the U.S. to treat seed and to kill insects on crops. It was found to be toxic in humans. Use of heptachlor was phased out beginning in 1978, and all uses in the U.S. were banned by the Environmental Protection Agency by 1988.
Herbaceous (plants): Nonwoody plants.
Herbaceous wind barriers: Perennial vegetation established in rows across the prevailing wind direction.
Herbage: The biomass of herbaceous plants including edible roots and tubers, but not separated grain.
Herbarium: A museum for plants. Plant specimens are collected, shelved in an organized fashion, and preserved for future study.
Herbicide: A chemical used for killing or inhibiting the growth of certain plants or weeds.
Herbicide-tolerant crops (HT): The insertion of a herbicide-tolerant gene into plants that enables producers to spray wide-spectrum herbicides on their fields killing all plants but the HT crop.
Herd of origin: (1)The flock or herd to which an animal was born. (2) For regulatory purposes, the flock or herd to which an animal was born or where the animal had been for a period of time prior to a triggering event.
Herd(s) of origin: (1) The flock or herd to which an animal was born. (2) For regulatory purposes, the flock or herd to which an animal was born or where the animal had been for a period of time prior to a triggering event.
Heritability estimate: An estimate of the proportion of the total phenotype variation between individuals for a certain trait that is due to heredity.
Heritability; heritable: The proportion of the differences among cattle, measured or observed, that is transmitted to the offspring. Heritability varies from zero to one. The higher the heritability of a trait, the more accurately does the individual performance predict breeding value, and the more rapid should be the response due to selection for that trait.
Herringbone barn: See Barn (milking).
Hesperaloe: A domestic fiber crop that is a source of hard fiber for use in products that require high strength. Hesperaloe is being promoted as an alternative to imported tropical fiber crops.
Hessian fly: One of the most destructive insect pests of wheat in the U.S. Damage is caused by infestation by the Hessian fly larvae. Even a single larva can cause significant damage to a wheat plant because salivary toxins released while feeding interfere with normal wheat growth resulting in stunting or death.
Heterosis: The amount by which measured traits of the crossbreds exceed the average of the two or more purebreds that are mated to produce the crossbreds. Also hybrid vigor.
Heterozygous: The possessing of two different forms of a particular gene, one inherited from each parent.
HFCS: High-fructose corn syrup
High oleic: Oilseed sunflower with a high oleic fatty acid content in its oil. It is a premium oil used in the snack food industry.
High Volume Instrument (HVI) colormeter: The instrument used for official determination of cotton color grade. The HVI colormeter replaced classer visual examinations.
High Volume Instrument classing: A new instrument-based grading system to determine the market quality of cotton. See High Volume Instrument(ation) (HVI).
High Volume Instrument(ation) (HVI): The testing of cotton samples for micronaire, fiber length, length uniformity, strength, elongation, color, and trash content.
High-density agriculture: Traditionally, confined livestock operations, but also nontraditional agricultural practices such as growing shade-loving plants under orchard trees and urban agriculture.
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS): Formulations generally containing 42 percent, 55 percent, or 90 percent fructose (the remaining carbohydrate being primarily glucose), depending on the product application. HCFS is used in products such as soft drinks and cake mixes.
High-income country(ies): Generally, a country with an industrial economy. There are currently about 26 high-income countries in the world, with a combined population of just less than one billion. See Low-income country(ies), and Middle-income country(ies).
High-moisture (feed)grain(s): Grain with a moisture content greater than a base percentage. Since grain handlers and processors don’t wish to pay for excess water, they adjust the value of high-moisture grain, either by calculating the weight of the grain at base moisture, or by adjusting the price of grain that is delivered at moisture levels above the base. Procedures used for making adjustments for different moisture levels in grain include a price discount, a shrink factor, drying charges, and load averaging. High-moisture state: Under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Sec. 1209(a)(3)), corn or grain sorghum having a moisture content in excess of Commodity Credit Corporation standards for marketing assistance loans.
High-moisture state: Under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Sec. 1209(a)(3)), corn or grain sorghum having a moisture content in excess of Commodity Credit Corporation standards for marketing assistance loans.
High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC ): Methods that are capable of analyzing lower limits for aflatoxin and usually show more specificity. The aflatoxin is extracted from a sample and separated from interfering compounds. All four aflatoxin components are quantitatively calculated in these methods. HPLC techniques for detection of fumonisins and other mycotoxins have also been developed.
High-priority Research and Extension Initiatives: As authorized by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (Sec. 1672) and reauthorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Sec. 7119), USDA competitive grants to support activities in the following high-priority research and extension areas: brown citrus aphid and citrus tristeza virus, ethanol, aflatoxin, mesquite, prickly pear, deer tick ecology, red meat safety, grain sorghum ergot, peanut market enhancement, dairy financial risk management, cotton, methyl bromide, potatoes, wood use, low-bush blueberry, wetlands use, wild pampas grass control, food safety, financial risk management, ornamental tropical fish, sheep scrapie, gypsy moth, forestry, and tomato spotted wilt virus.
High-quality farmland: Farmland that is either prime farmland, unique farmland, or both.
High-risk tissues: Specific high-risk tissues identified by the Harvard Risk Assessment, in order of infectivity, include: brain, spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia, distal ileum, and the trigeminal ganglia and other tissues found in the head. Since the brain and spinal cord of cattle infected with BSE contain most of the BSE infectivity in the animal, the Harvard study concluded that, if BSE were present in the U.S., human consumption of bovine brains and spinal cords would be an obvious source of exposure to theBSE agent. See Specified risk material(s)(SRM).
High-sales farms: Farming occupation farms with sales between $100,000 and $249,999.
High-temperature, short-time pasteurization (HTST): The most commonly used process for pasteurizing milk. See Low-temperature, long-time pasteurization (LTLT), and Pasteurization.
High-value (agricultural) product(s): Products that range from highly processed, value-added goods, to unprocessed foods that are relatively expensive on a per-unit or per-volume basis such as eggs, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables.
High-value, consumer-oriented (foods and beverages): For the BICO report, agricultural products that require little or no additional processing, and are generally ready for final consumption at either the food retail or food service level. In some cases, however, products classified as consumer foods may be used by food processors as ingredients in other foods. These products, some of which are not ready for final consumption, can include spices, dairy products, egg products, tree nuts, and dried fruits. See BICO report.
Higher Education Challenge Grants Program (HEC): Authorized under Sec. 1417(b)(1) of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. § 3152(b)(1)), the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service grants program to stimulate and enable colleges and universities to provide the quality of education necessary to produce baccalaureate or higher degree level graduates capable of strengthening the nation’s food and agricultural scientific and professional work force. The HEC program supports projects related to strengthening undergraduate teaching programs in any subject matter area in the food and agricultural sciences.
Higher Education Institution Challenge Grant: See Higher Education Challenge Grants Program (HEC).
Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP): Authorized under Sec. 1417(b)(5) of the National Agriculture, Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. § 3152(b)(5)), competitive grants to colleges and universities to provide matching scholarships with the goals of increasing ethnic and cultural diversity of the food and agricultural scientific and professional work force, and to advance the educational achievement of minority Americans. Also Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Grants Program.
Higher Education Programs (HEP): The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service unit promoting excellence in higher education throughout the food and agricultural sciences. HEP administers several programs and initiatives to enhance the quality of education and to develop scientific and professional expertise at colleges and universities across the nation. HEP works in partnership with academia, industry, other federal agencies, and professional associations. See 1890 Institution Teaching and Research Capacity Building Grants Program, and Ag in the Classroom; Agriculture in the Classroom, Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program, Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate Fellowship Grants Program, Higher Education Challenge Grants Program (HEC), National Awards Program for Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences, Secondary and Two-Year Postsecondary Agriculture Education Challenge Grants Program (SPEC), Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grants Program, and Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCR).
Higher Education-Graduate Fellowship grants: See Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate Fellowship Grants Program.
Higher of (provision) (dairy): Under the milk marketing order reforms, the use of the higher of the announced Class III price or Class IV price to establish the base price for Class I milk. This method ensures that the Class I price will be higher than manufacturing classes of milk. See Price mover.
Highly erodible field: A field that contains at least one-third of the total area, or 50 acres, whichever is less, of highly erodible cropland.
Highly erodible; highly erodible (crop)land: (1) Land that is in cropland use and is classified by the Natural Resources Conservation Service as Class IV, VI, VII, or VIII under the land capability classification system, and is considered to be particularly vulnerable to weather conditions. (2) Land that has an Erodibility Index of greater than 8. This index is based on a field’s inherent tendency to erode, from rain or wind, in the absence of cover crop. The Erodibility Index is based on the Universal Soil Loss Equation and the Wind erosion equation, along with a soil’s T-value – a measure of the amount of erosion in tons per year that a soil can tolerate without losing productivity. For most cropland soils, T-values fall in the range of three to five tons per acre.
HIMP: HACCP-based Inspection Models Project
Hinny: A cross between a stallion and a female donkey.
Hispanic-serving institution(s): An institution of higher education that has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students, and which (a) admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such certificate; (b) is a public or other nonprofit institution accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body; and (c) is legally authorized to provide a program of education beyond the secondary level for which a two-year associate, baccalaureate, or higher degree is awarded.
Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program: Competitive grants, made under the authority of Sec. 1455 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977(7 U.S. C. 3241), as amended by Sec. 7111 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, to Hispanic-serving colleges and universities to help expand or strengthen academic programs in the food and agricultural sciences. Also Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Partnerships Grants Program. See USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Partnerships Grants Program.
Historic barn: Under Sec. 6023 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, a barn that is at least 50 years old; retains sufficient integrity of design, materials, and construction to clearly identify the barn as an agricultural building; and meets the criteria for listing on national, state, or local registers or inventories of historic structures. See Historic Barn Preservation program.
Historic Barn Preservation program: As authorized in Section 6023 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, a USDA program to assist states in developing a list of historic barns; collect and disseminate information on historic barns; foster educational programsrelating to the history, construction techniques, rehabilitation, and contribution to society of historic barns; and sponsor and conduct research on the history of barns and the best practices to protect and rehabilitate historic barns from the effects of decay, fire, arson, and natural disasters. The USDA may provide grants, enter into contracts, or enter into cooperative agreements with eligible applicants to rehabilitate or repair an historic barn; preserve an historic barn through the installation of a fire protection system – including fireproofing, a fire detection system, and sprinklers – and a system to prevent vandalism; and identify, document, and conduct research on an historic barn to develop and evaluate appropriate techniques or best practices for protecting historic barns.
Historic peanut producer: Under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Sec. 1301), a producer on a farm in the U.S. that produced or was prevented from planting peanuts during any or all of the 1998 through 2001 crop years.
History acreage: For tobacco, the farm acreage allotment for the respective kind of tobacco, if in the current year or either of the two preceding years the sum of the planted and considered planted acreage of such kind of tobacco was as much as 75 percent of the farm acreage allotment. Otherwise, the history acreage shall be the sum of the planted and considered planted acreage of such kind of tobacco.
Histosol: Soil composed of more than 30 percent organic matter as a result of saturated environmental conditions.
Hobby farm(s): See Rural residence.
Hog class: Either barrows or gilts, sows, or boars or stags.
Hog-corn ratio: Number of bushels of corn that are equal (in value) to one hundred pounds of live hogs; that is, the price of hogs per hundredweight divided by the price of corn per bushel. A favorable (high) ratio is usually followed by an increase in hog production; an unfavorable (low) ratio, by a decrease. Also Corn-hog ratio. See Steer-corn ratio.
Hogshead(s): A large, round wooden cask used for storing and aging tobacco. It usually contains 1000 pounds of flue-cured tobacco or 950 pounds of burley tobacco.
Holder: A person that has possession, in fact or by operation of law, of a warehouse receipt or any eligible electronic document.
Holding pond: A small basin or pond designed to hold sediment or wastewater until it can be treated to meet water quality standards or be used in some other way. Holistic management: A form of sustainable agriculture that emphasizes a decision-making process that enables people to make decisions that satisfy immediate needs without jeopardizing their future well-being, or the well-being of future generations. This decision-making process is to help identify a long-term vision and commitment to action to ensure that the decisions made will be economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.
Holistic management: A form of sustainable agriculture that emphasizes a decision-making process that enables people to make decisions that satisfy immediate needs without jeopardizing their future well-being, or the well-being of future henerations. this decisions-making process is to help identify a long-term vision and committment to action to ensure that the decisions made will be econimically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.
Homeless Children Nutrition Program (HCNP): Reauthorized by the Healthy Meals for Healthy Americans Act; provides year-round food assistance to preschool-age children living in emergency shelters by reimbursing providers of nutritious meals. The program was first established as a demonstration project in 1989, and made permanent in 1994.
Homestead protection: A provision in food and agricultural legislation that permits a foreclosed producer-borrower to remain in the principal residence on the farm even though the land is repossessed.
Homogenization: See Homogenized milk.
Homogenized milk: Milk that is treated to ensure the breakup of fat globules. Homogenization prevents the cream portion of milk from separating from the skim portion. A test of adequate homogenization is that after 48 hours of quiescent storage at room temperature, no visible cream separation occurs on the milk.
Homozygous: The possessing of two identical forms of a particular gene, one inherited from each parent.
Honey loan(s): (1) The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Sec. 1202) reauthorized nonrecourse marketing assistance loans for honey at 60 cents per pound for the 2002 through 2007 crops. (2) See Honey Recourse Loan Program.
Honey Recourse Loan Program: A recourse loan program for honey operated by the Commodity Credit Corporation for the 1998, 1999, and 2000 crop years. The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999, authorized the program for the 1998 crop of honey; the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000, authorized the program for the 1999 crop of honey; and the Agriculture Risk Protection Act, 2000, authorized the program for the 2000 crop of honey. Eligible producers could obtain honey recourse loans at a national average loan rate of 59 cents per pound. Loans matured on demand, but not later than the last day of the ninth month following the month in which the note and security agreement were approved. A loan service fee was collected at the time of loan disbursement. The program was converted to a nonrecourse loan program in 2000. See Honey loan(s).
Hoof-and-mouth disease: See Foot-and-mouth disease.
Horizon(s): Part of the soil profile with Horizon A being topsoil; Horizon B being subsoil; Horizon C being soil parent material; Horizon R being underlying bedrock; and Horizon E being the soil between the Horizons A and B where maximum leaching occurs. On top of Horizon A is Horizon O composed of organic matter and not considered true mineral soil. See Soil-depth profile.
Horizontal integration: A form of market control under which a single organization controls, via ownership or contractual arrangement, two or more firms each performing similar activities at the same level of the production or marketing process.
Hormone(s): See Growth hormones; growth promotants.
Hormone-treated meat: The use of growth hormones in beef production. Hormones are used because they speed up growth rates and produce a leaner carcass. Growth hormones approved for use in the U.S. are compounds that either naturally occur in an animal’s body or mimic naturally occurring compounds. Approximately 63 percent of all U.S. cattle and about 90 percent of the cattle in feedlots are treated with growth hormones. See Growth hormones; growth promotants.
Horn fly: Blood-sucking insect pests of cattle and goats that interfere with feeding and rest.
Horse Protection Act (HPA) (P.L. 91-540): Signed into law December 9, 1970, and amended in 1976 (P.L. 94-360). Enforced by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Act prohibits horses subjected to a process called soring from participating in exhibitions, sales, shows, or auctions. The Act also prohibits drivers from hauling sored horses across state lines to compete in shows.
Horsepower (HP): A unit for measuring the rate of mechanical energy output, usually used to describe the maximum output of engines or electric motors. 1 hp = 550 foot-pounds per second = 2,545 Btu per hour = 745.7 watts.
Horticulture; horticultural: (1) The cultivation of plants. (2) Bedding plants, bulbs, florists’ greens, flower and vegetable seeds, flowers, foliage, fruit stocks, nursery stock, ornamental plants, shrubbery, sod, mushrooms, and vegetables grown under cover.
Host range: Species of plants capable, under natural conditions, of sustaining a specific pest.
Hot packing: The process of heating an acid food, with a pH of less than 4.6, to temperatures near boiling for a sufficient time to destroy all pathogens and inactivate spoilage microorganisms. Containers are filled with the hot product, sealed, then cooled.
Hot-carcass weight: Carcass weight prior to chilling. The hot-carcass weight is 102 percent times the chilled-carcass weight. The carcass weight has an inverse effect on the percent of retail yield.
Hothouse lamb: A lamb born and raised out of the normal season and marketed at six to ten weeks of age.
Housing Act of 1949 (P.L. 81-171): Signed into law October 25, 1949. Title V of the Act, as amended, provides the authority for funding the Sections 502, 504, 514, 515, 523, and 538 rural housing programs.
Housing preservation grant program: Commonly known as Section 533 grants, public and private nonprofit groups, local governments, and Native American tribes can receive Rural Housing Service grants for repair and rehabilitation of individual homes or rental units occupied by very-low-income and low-income families. Units repaired must meet local code standards when completed. Grantees may receive up to 20 percent of the grant for administrative costs.
HPA: Horse Protection Act
HPLC: High Performance Liquid Chromatography
HS: Harmonized system
HTST: High-temperature, short–time pasteurization
HTSUS: Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
HUA: Nonpoint Source Hydrologic Unit Areas projects
Hull(s): (1) The outer coating of corn, oats, wheat, soybeans, cottonseed, peanuts, and other grains, pseudocereals, and oilseeds. (2) The outer husk of rice. A few years ago, the hulls were of no value except as boiler fuel for the rice mills. Moderntechnology, though, has discovered many industrial uses, including the polishing of semi-precious gems, as an abrasive in mechanic’s soap, and as a filler in ceramic ware. (3) Cottonseed hulls are comprised of the seed coat with some attachedlint that is separated from the cottonseed kernel during oil production.
Human Nutrition Initiative: A five-year Presidential research initiative begun in 1997 on dietary intake and its effects on growth, development, and aging. Dietary intake has been linked to risks for development of a variety of common, chronic diseases that are disabling and life threatening. For diseases linked strongly to diet, the cost of medical treatment and care exceeds $200 billion per year. The Initiative was targeted towards developing the means for promoting optimum health and well-being. Specifically, research was being conducted on the effects of diet on the immune system, the dietary patterns of human performance, and the role of nutrition throughout the life cycle.
Human Nutrition Intervention and Health Promotion Research Program (7 U.S.C. § 3174): The USDA is authorized under the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to establish and award grants for multiyear research on human nutrition intervention and health promotion. Specific emphasis is given to coordinated longitudinal research assessments of nutritional status, and the implementation of unified, innovative intervention strategies that aim to identify and solve problems of nutritional inadequacy and contribute to the maintenance of health, well-being, performance, and productivity of individuals. The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Sec. 7104) extended the authority through FY2007. See Combined medical and agricultural research pilot program.
Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958 (P.L. 85-765): Signed into law August 27, 1958. Required all livestock in the U.S. be slaughtered humanely, except for Kosher, Halal, and other religious slaughter. Fearing that the provisions of this Act were not being properly enforced by the USDA, Congress adopted a Sense of Congress resolution as part of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Sec. 10305) instructing the USDA to enforce the Act and to report results and trends to Congress. See Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978. Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-445): Signed into law October 10, 1978. The Act amended the Federal Meat Inspection Act by requiring that all meat inspected by the Food Safety and Inspection Service for use as human food be produced from livestock slaughtered by humane methods in accordance with the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958.
Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978 (P.L.95-445): Signed into law October 10, 1978. The Act amended the Federal Meat Inspection Act by requiring that all meat inspected by the Food Safety and Inspection Service for use as human food be produced from livestock slaughtered by humane methods in accordance with the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958.
Humus: The well-decomposed, relatively stable portion of the partly or wholly decayed organic matter in a soil that provides nutrients and helps the soil retain moisture.
Hundredweight (cwt.): Equivalent to one hundred pounds; a common unit of measurement for rice and milk.
Hunger Fellowship Program: See Bill Emerson Hunger Fellowship, Congressional Hunger Fellows Act of 2002, and Mickey Leland Hunger Fellowship.
Hunger Prevention Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-435): Signed into law September 19, 1988. The law amended the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983 to require the USDA to make additional types of commodities available for the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program, to improve the child nutrition and food stamp programs, and to provide other hunger relief.
Husband and wife rule: The general rule that a husband and wife are considered one person for payment limitation purposes. They may be considered separate persons if each spouse was separately engaged in unrelated farming operations before their marriage, and since the marriage the farming operations have been maintained as separate and distinct. Also, they may be considered separate persons if neither spouse holds, directly or indirectly, a substantial beneficial interest in more than one entity, including themselves, receiving payments as a separate person and they meet all other requirements to be considered a separate person.
Husbandry: (1) The science of farming. (2) The raising of crops or livestock. See Animal Husbandry, Aquaculture; aquacultural, and Forestry.
HVI: High Volume Instrumentation
HWWIP: Hard White Wheat Incentive Payments
Hybrid poplar: A tree that can reach 90 feet in six years and be grown as a row crop on fallow farmland. Hybrid poplars are potentially useful in biofuels production because of their rapid growth. Hybrid poplars are also useful for establishing protection against wind and water erosion, intercepting nutrient runoff near waterways, and achieving high wood yields through intensive management and short rotations. See Intensive forestry; intensive forest management.
Hybrid vigor: See Heterosis.
Hybrid(s): (1) Offspring of two different plants or animals that may grow better and with more vigor than the parents. (2) The deliberate cross between two inbred lines. Saved seed from hybrids produces many different plant types; only the owner of the original parent plants can produce uniform hybrid seed. (3) See Heterosis.
Hydric (soil): Soil that is saturated for sufficient periods of time to produce anaerobic conditions.
Hydrocarbons: Any of a large class of organic compounds containing only carbon and hydrogen. The molecular structure of hydrocarbon compounds varies from the simplest, methane, a constituent of natural gas, to heavier and more complex molecules such as octane, a constituent of crude oil. The smallest molecules of hydrocarbons are gaseous while the largest are solids. Fossil fuels are made up of hydrocarbons. Crude oil and natural gas are often referred to as hydrocarbons or hydrocarbon fuels.
Hydrocooling: The direct cooling of poultry and produce by chilled water. Hydrocooling is especially effective and fast (15 times faster than air cooling).
Hydrogenation: The process by which hydrogen atoms are added directly to an unsaturated fatty acid, thereby eliminating double bonds. This process solidifies fatty acids and increases the shelf life and flavor stability of these fats and foods that contain thesefats.
Hydrography: The process of charting or mapping water features and characteristics, based on specific measurements at a point or over a distance or area.
Hydrolized poultry feathers: Prepared by the treatment under pressure of clean, undecomposed feathers from slaughtered poultry. It is high in protein (85 percent), but protein quality is not as good as other animal protein sources.
Hydrologic balance: The relationship between the quality and quantity of water inflow to, water outflow from, and water storage in a hydrologic unit such as a drainage basin, aquifer, soil zone, lake, or reservoir. It encompasses the dynamic relationships among precipitation, runoff, evaporation, and changes in ground and surface water storage.
Hydrology: The study of the properties, distributions, and activities of water.
Hydrolysate: Fermentable sugars mixture produced during the hydrolysis of biomass.
Hydrolysis; hydrolizing: The decomposition of a chemical compound by reaction with water, such as the dissociation of a dissolved salt or the catalytic conversion of starch to glucose. Some industrially important hydrolysis reactions are the synthesis of alcohols from olefins in the presence of a strong acid catalyst, the conversion of starches to sugars in the presence of a strong acid catalyst, and the conversion of animal fats or vegetable oils to glycerol and fatty acids by reaction with steam. In ethanol production, hydrolysis reactions are used to break down the cellulose and hemicellulose in the biomass.
Hydrophyte(s): A plant that survives the unfavorable season by means of buds that live at the bottom of the water; the vegetative shoots remain submerged, and only the flowers and inflorescences rise above the surface.
Hydrophytic vegetation: Plants growing during a growing season in water or in soil that is at least periodically deficient in oxygen as a result of excessive water.
Hydroponic(s); hydroponic horticulture: The growing of plants in water containing dissolved nutrients, rather than in soil. This process is used in greenhouses for intensive off-season production of vegetables.
Hydrosphere: All waters of the Earth – surface, atmospheric, and groundwater – including ice.
Hypoxia: Oxygen-depleted water probably caused by increased levels of nitrate-nitrogen.
Hypoxic: A condition of low oxygen concentration; it is below that considered aerobic.