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  Glossary

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R

Recycling - Conservation of the resources in used items by converting them into new products. For example, used aluminum cans are recycled by collecting, re-melting, and reprocessing them into new cans.

Reduced tillage - A method of conservation tillage in which the subsurface soil is tilled without disturbing the topsoil. See conservation tillage.

Reforestation - The replacement of trees in cut-over forest areas.

Renewable natural resource base - Includes soil, water, and all the physical, chemical, and biological components of agricultural resource systems.

Renewable resources - Resources that are replaced by natural processes and can be used forever, provided they are not overexploited in the short term. Examples include fresh water in lakes and rivers, fertile soil, and trees in forests. Compare nonrenewable resources.

Renewable water - Water continuously renewed within reasonable time spans by the hydrological cycle, such as that in streams, reservoirs or other sources that refill from precipitation or runoff. The renewability of a water source depends both on its natural rate of recharge and the rate at which the water is withdrawn for human ends. To the extent water is withdrawn faster than its source is recharged, it cannot be considered renewable.

Restoration - The re-creation of entire communities of organisms closely modeled on communities that occur naturally. It is closely linked to reclamation.

Root crops - A plant cultivated for its underground food-storing organ.

Rotation - The systematic growing of different kinds of crops in recurrent succession on the same piece of land.

Runoff - The movement of fresh water from precipitation and snowmelt to rivers, lakes, wetlands, and ultimately, the ocean.