7 CFR § 718.2 - Definitions.

§ 718.2 Definitions.

Except as provided in individual parts of chapters VII and XIV of this title, the following terms shall be as defined herein:

Administrative variance (AV) means the amount by which the determined acreage of tobacco may exceed the effective allotment and be considered in compliance with program regulations.

Allotment means an acreage for a commodity allocated to a farm in accordance with the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended.

Allotment crop means any tobacco crop for which acreage allotments are established pursuant to part 723 of this chapter.

Barley means barley that follows the standard planting and harvesting practice of barley for the area in which the barley is grown.

Base acres means, with respect to a covered commodity on a farm, the number of acres in effect on September 30, 2013, as defined in the regulations in part 1412, subpart B, of this title that were in effect on that date, subject to any reallocation, adjustment, or reduction. The term “ base acres” includes any generic base acres as specified in part 1412 planted to a covered commodity as specified in part 1412.

Beginning farmer or rancher means a person or legal entity (for legal entities to be considered a beginning farmer or rancher, all members must be related by blood or marriage and all members must be beginning farmers or ranchers) for which both of the following are true for the farmer or rancher:

(1) Has not operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 years; and

(2) Materially and substantially participates in the operation.

CCC means the Commodity Credit Corporation.

Combination means consolidation of two or more farms or parts of farms, having the same operator, into one farm.

Common land unit means the smallest unit of land that has an identifiable border located in one physical location (county), as defined in this part, and all of the following in common:

(1) Owner;

(2) Management;

(3) Cover; and

(4) Where applicable, producer association.

Common ownership unit means a distinguishable parcel of land consisting of one or more tracts of land with the same owners, as determined by FSA.

Constitution means the make-up of the farm before any change is made because of change in ownership or operation.

Contiguous means sharing any part of a boundary but not overlapping.

Contiguous county means a county contiguous to the reference county or counties.

Contiguous county office means the FSA county office that is in a contiguous county.

Controlled environment means, with respect to those crops for which a controlled environment is required or expected to be provided, including but not limited to ornamental nursery, aquaculture (including ornamental fish), and floriculture, as applicable under the particular program, an environment in which everything that can practicably be controlled with structures, facilities, growing media (including but not limited to water, soil, or nutrients) by the producer, is in fact controlled by the producer.

Controlled substances means the term set forth in 21 CFR part 1308.

Corn means field corn or sterile high-sugar corn that follows the standard planting and harvesting practices for corn for the area in which the corn is grown. Popcorn, corn nuts, blue corn, sweet corn, and corn varieties grown for decoration uses are not corn.

County means the county or parish of a state. For Alaska, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, a county shall be an area designated by the State committee with the concurrence of the Deputy Administrator.

County committee means the FSA county committee.

Crop reporting date means the latest date upon which the Administrator, FSA will allow the farm operator, owner, or their agent to submit a crop acreage report in order for the report to be considered timely.


(a) Means land which the county committee determines meets any of the following conditions:

(1) Is currently being tilled for the production of a crop for harvest. Land which is seeded by drilling, broadcast or other no-till planting practices shall be considered tilled for cropland definition purposes;

(2) Is not currently tilled, but it can be established that such land has been tilled in a prior year and is suitable for crop production;

(3) Is currently devoted to a one-row or two-row shelter belt planting, orchard, or vineyard;

(4) Is in terraces that, were cropped in the past, even though they are no longer capable of being cropped;

(5) Is in sod waterways or filter strips planted to a perennial cover;

(6) Is preserved as cropland in accordance with part 1410 of this title; or

(7) Is land that has newly been broken out for purposes of being planted to a crop that the producer intends to, and is capable of, carrying through to harvest, using tillage and cultural practices that are consistent with normal practices in the area; provided further that, in the event that such practices are not utilized other than for reasons beyond the producer's control, the cropland determination shall be void retroactive to the time at which the land was broken out.

(b) Land classified as cropland shall be removed from such classification upon a determination by the county committee that the land is:

(1) No longer used for agricultural production;

(2) No longer suitable for production of crops;

(3) Subject to a restrictive easement or contract that prohibits its use for the production of crops unless otherwise authorized by the regulation of this chapter;

(4) No longer preserved as cropland in accordance with the provisions of part 1410 of this title and does not meet the conditions in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(6) of this definition; or

(5) Converted to ponds, tanks or trees other than those trees planted in compliance with a Conservation Reserve Program contract executed pursuant to part 1410 of this title, or trees that are used in one-or two-row shelterbelt plantings, or are part of an orchard or vineyard.

Current year means the year for which allotments, quotas, acreages, and bases, or other program determinations are established for that program. For controlled substance violations, the current year is the year of the actual conviction.

Deputy Administrator means Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture or their designee.

Determination means a decision issued by a State, county or area FSA committee or its employees that affects a participant's status in a program administered by FSA.

Determined acreage means that acreage established by a representative of the Farm Service Agency by use of official acreage, digitizing or planimetering areas on the photograph or other photographic image, or computations from scaled dimensions or ground measurements.

Direct and counter-cyclical program (DCP) cropland means land that currently meets the definition of cropland, land that was devoted to cropland at the time it was enrolled in a production flexibility contract in accordance with part 1413 of this title and continues to be used for agricultural purposes, or land that met the definition of cropland on or after April, 4, 1996, and continues to be used for agricultural purposes and not for nonagricultural commercial or industrial use.

Division means the division of a farm into two or more farms or parts of farms.

Double cropping means, as determined by the Deputy Administrator on a regional basis, consecutive planting of two specific crops that have the capability to be planted and carried to maturity for the intended uses, as reported by the producer, on the same acreage within a 12-month period. To be considered double cropping, the planting of two specific crops must be in an area where such double cropping is considered normal, or could be considered normal, for all growers under normal growing conditions and growers are typically able to repeat the same cycle successfully in a subsequent 12-month period.

Entity means a corporation, joint stock company, association, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, irrevocable trust, estate, charitable organization, or other similar organization, including any such organization participating in the farming operation as a partner in a general partnership, a participant in a joint venture, or a participant in a similar organization.

Extra Long Staple (ELS) Cotton means cotton that follows the standard planting and harvesting practices of the area in which the cotton is grown, and meets all of the following conditions:

(1) American-Pima, Sea Island, Sealand, all other varieties of the Barbandense species of cotton and any hybrid thereof, and any other variety of cotton in which 1 or more of these varieties is predominant; and,

(2) The acreage is grown in a county designated as an ELS county by the Secretary; and,

(3) The production from the acreage is ginned on a roller-type gin.

Family member means an individual to whom a person is related as spouse, lineal ancestor, lineal descendant, or sibling, including:

(1) Great grandparent;

(2) Grandparent;

(3) Parent;

(4) Child, including a legally adopted child;

(5) Grandchild

(6) Great grandchildren;

(7) Sibling of the family member in the farming operation; and

(8) Spouse of a person listed in paragraphs (1) through (7) of this definition.

Farm means a tract, or tracts, of land that are considered to be a separate operation under the terms of this part provided further that where multiple tracts are to be treated as one farm, the tracts must have the same operator and must also have the same owner except that tracts of land having different owners may be combined if all owners agree to the treatment of the multiple tracts as one farm for these purposes.

Farm inspection means an inspection by an authorized FSA representative using aerial or ground compliance to determine the extent of producer adherence to program requirements.

Farm number means a number assigned to a farm by the county committee for the purpose of identification.

Farmland means the sum of the DCP cropland, forest, acreage planted to an eligible crop acreage as specified in 1437.3 of this title and other land on the farm.

Field means a part of a farm which is separated from the balance of the farm by permanent boundaries such as fences, permanent waterways, woodlands, and croplines in cases where farming practices make it probable that such cropline is not subject to change, or other similar features.

GIS means Geographic Information System or a system that stores, analyzes, and manipulates spatial or geographically referenced data. GIS computes distances and acres using stored data and calculations.

GPS means Global Positioning System or a positioning system using satellites that continuously transmit coded information. The information transmitted from the satellites is interpreted by GPS receivers to precisely identify locations on earth by measuring distance from the satellites.

Grain sorghum means grain sorghum of a feed grain or dual purpose variety (including any cross that, at all stages of growth, having characteristics of a feed grain or dual purpose variety) that follows the standard planting and harvesting practice for grain sorghum for the area in which the grain sorghum was planted. Sweet sorghum is not considered a grain sorghum.

Ground measurement means the distance between 2 points on the ground, obtained by actual use of a chain tape, GPS with a minimum accuracy level as determined by the Deputy Administrator, or other measuring device.

Intended use means for a crop or a commodity, the end use for which it is grown and produced.

Joint operation means a general partnership, joint venture, or other similar business organization.

Landlord means one who rents or leases farmland to another.

Limited resource farmer or rancher means a farmer or rancher who is both of the following:

(1) A person whose direct or indirect gross farm sales do not exceed $176,800 (2014 program year) in each of the 2 calendar years that precede the most immediately preceding complete taxable year before the relevant program year that corresponds to the relevant program year (for example, for the 2014 program year, the two years would be 2011 and 2012), adjusted upwards in later years for any general inflation; and

(2) A person whose total household income was at or below the national poverty level for a family of four in each of the same two previous years referenced in paragraph (1) of this definition. (Limited resource farmer or rancher status can be determined using a Web site available through the Limited Resource Farmer and Rancher Online Self Determination Tool through National Resource and Conservation Service at http://www.lrftool.sc.egov.usda.gov.)

(3) For legal entities, the sum of gross sales and household income must be considered for all members.

Measurement service means a measurement of acreage or farm-stored commodities performed by a representative of FSA and paid for by the producer requesting the measurement.

Measurement service after planting means determining a crop or designated acreage after planting but before the farm operator files a report of acreage for the crop.

Measurement service guarantee means a guarantee provided when a producer requests and pays for an authorized FSA representative to measure acreage for FSA and CCC program participation unless the producer takes action to adjust the measured acreage. If the producer has taken no such action, and the measured acreage is later discovered to be incorrect, the acreage determined pursuant to the measurement service will be used for program purposes for that program year.

Minor child means an individual who is under 18 years of age. For the purpose of programs under chapters VII and XIV of this title, State court proceedings conferring majority on an individual under 18 years of age will not change such an individual's status as a minor.

Nonagricultural commercial or industrial use means land that is no longer suitable for producing annual or perennial crops, including conserving uses, or forestry products.

Normal planting period means that period during which the crop is normally planted in the county, or area within the county, with the expectation of producing a normal crop.

Normal row width means the normal distance between rows of the crop in the field, but not less than 30 inches for all crops.

Oats means oats that follows the standard planting and harvesting practice of oats for the area in which the oats are grown.

Operator means an individual, entity, or joint operation who is determined by the FSA county committee to be in control of the farming operations on the farm.

Owner means one who has legal ownership of farmland, including:

(1) Any agency of the Federal Government; however, such agency is not eligible to receive any program payment;

(2) One who is buying farmland under a contract for deed; or

(3) One who has a life-estate in the property.

Partial reconstitution means a reconstitution that is made effective in the current year for some crops, but is not made effective in the current year for other crops. This results in the same farm having two or more farm numbers in one crop year.

Participant means one who participates in, or receives payments or benefits in accordance with any of the programs administered by FSA.

Pasture means land that is used to, or has the potential to, produce food for grazing animals.

Person means an individual, or an individual participating as a member of a joint operation or similar operation, a corporation, joint stock company, association, limited stock company, limited partnership, irrevocable trust, revocable trust together with the grantor of the trust, estate, or charitable organization including any entity participating in the farming operation as a partner in a general partnership, a participant in a joint venture, a grantor of a revocable trust, or a participant in a similar entity, or a State, political subdivision or agency thereof. To be considered a separate person for the purpose of this part, the individual or other legal entity must:

(1) Have a separate and distinct interest in the land or the crop involved;

(2) Exercise separate responsibility for such interest; and

(3) Be responsible for the cost of farming related to such interest from a fund or account separate from that of any other individual or entity.

Physical location means the political county and State determined by FSA for identifying a tract or common land unit, as applicable, under this part. FSA will consider all the DCP cropland within an original tract to be in one single physical location county and State based upon 95 percent or more of the tract's DCP cropland. For DCP cropland that FSA determines lies outside the physical location (county) of the original tract that is 10 acres or more and more than 5 percent of the original tract, FSA will divide that land from the original tract and establish a new tract for that area.

Planted and considered planted (P&CP) means with respect to an acreage amount, the sum of the planted and prevented planted acres on the farm approved by the FSA county committee for a crop. P&CP is limited to initially planted or prevented planted crop acreage, except for crops planted in an FSA approved double- cropping sequence. Subsequently planted crop acreage and replacement crop acreage are not included as P&CP.

Producer means an owner, operator, landlord, tenant, or sharecropper, who shares in the risk of producing a crop and who is entitled to share in the crop available for marketing from the farm, or would have shared had the crop been produced. A producer includes a grower of hybrid seed.

Quota means the pounds allocated to a farm for a commodity in accordance with the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended.

Random inspection means an examination of a farm by an authorized representative of FSA selected as a part of an impartial sample to determine the adherence to program requirements.

Reconstitution means a change in the land constituting a farm as a result of combination or division.

Reported acreage means the acreage reported by the farm operator, farm owner, farm producer, or their agent on a Form prescribed by the FSA.

Required inspection means an examination by an authorized representative of FSA of a farm specifically selected by application of prescribed rules to determine adherence to program requirements or to verify the farm operator's, farm owner's, farm producer, or agent's report.

Rice means rice that follows the standard planting and harvesting practices of the area excluding sweet, glutinous, or candy rice such as Mochi Gomi.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or a designee.

Sharecropper means one who performs work in connection with the production of a crop under the supervision of the operator and who receives a share of such crop for its labor.

Skip-row or strip-crop planting means a cultural practice in which strips or rows of the crop are alternated with strips of idle land or another crop.

Socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher means a farmer or rancher who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Socially disadvantaged groups include the following and no others unless approved in writing by the Deputy Administrator:

(1) American Indians or Alaskan Natives,

(2) Asians or Asian-Americans,

(3) Blacks or African-Americans,

(4) Hispanics or Hispanic-Americans,

(5) Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, and

(6) Women.

Staking and referencing means determining an acreage before planting by:

(1) Measuring or computing a delineated area from ground measurements and documenting the area measured; and, (2) Staking and referencing the area on the ground.

Standard deduction means an acreage that is excluded from the gross acreage in a field because such acreage is considered as being used for farm equipment turn-areas. Such acreage is established by application of a prescribed percentage of the area planted to the crop in lieu of measuring the turn area.

State committee means the FSA State committee.

Subdivision means a part of a field that is separated from the balance of the field by temporary boundary, such as a cropline which could be easily moved or will likely disappear.

Subsequent crop means a crop following an initial crop that is not in an approved double cropping combination.

Tenant means:

(1) One who rents land from another in consideration of the payment of a specified amount of cash or amount of a commodity; or

(2) One (other than a sharecropper) who rents land from another person in consideration of the payment of a share of the crops or proceeds therefrom.

Tolerance means a prescribed amount within which the reported acreage and/or production may differ from the determined acreage and/or production and still be considered as correctly reported.

Tract means a unit of contiguous land under one ownership located in one physical location (county), as defined in this part, which is operated as a farm, or part of a farm.

Tract combination means the combining of two or more tracts if the tracts have common ownership and are contiguous.

Tract division means the dividing of a tract into two or more tracts because of a change in ownership or operation.

Turn-area means the area across the ends of crop rows which is used for operating equipment necessary to the production of a row crop (also called turn row, headland, or end row).

United States means all 50 States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and any other territory or possession of the United States.

Upland cotton means planted and stub cotton that is not considered extra long staple cotton, and that follows the standard planting and harvesting practices of the area and is produced from other than pure strain varieties of the Barbadense species, any hybrid thereof, or any other variety of cotton in which one or more of these varieties predominate. For program purposes, brown lint cotton is considered upland cotton.

Veteran farmer or rancher means a farmer or rancher who has served in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, including the reserve components and who:

(1) Has not operated a farm or ranch;

(2) Has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years; or

(3) Is a veteran (as defined as a person who served in the active duty or either active duty for training or inactive duty during which the individual was disabled, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable) who has first obtained status as a veteran during the most recent 10-year period.

Wheat means wheat for feed or dual purpose variety that follows the standard planting and harvesting practice of wheat for the area in which the wheat is grown.

[68 FR 16172, Apr. 3, 2003; 69 FR 250, Jan. 5, 2004, as amended at 79 FR 74571, Dec. 15, 2014; 80 FR 41994, July 16, 2015; 84 FR 45886, Sept. 3, 2019]