livestock, crop and aquaculture

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 6 21:20:34 UTC 2011

I was poking around, looking for some information on crawfish. When I got to
the LSU Agricultural Center website, I discovered that crawfish--along with
catfish, alligator, baitfish, freshwater prawns and pet turtles are listed
under "Livestock". In contrast, only the plant species are listed under
"Crops". A closer look reveals the distinction between "Livestock" and
"Aquaculture". Still, Aquaculture does not have a separate category in the
grand scheme of agriculture reporting.

On the other hand SRAC (Tex A&M) fact sheets and other documents (as well as
general statements in the wild) refer to crawfish captured for sale as
"harvest" and to crawfish, in general, as "crop".

OED is ambiguous on this count:


> 1. Domestic animals kept on a farm for use or profit; esp. cattle, sheep,
> and pigs.

 crop n.

>  III. The produce of the field, etc. [from 3].
>  8. a. The annual produce of plants cultivated or preserved for food, esp.
> that of the cereals; the produce of the land, either while growing or when
> gathered; harvest.
>  9. a. With qualification or contextual specification: The yield or produce
> of some particular cereal or other plant in a single season or in a
> particular locality. the crops: the whole of the plants which engage the
> agricultural industry of a particular district or crop: a crop
> of beans or peas, as opposed to one of corn. green crop: a crop cut in its
> green state for fodder; also, a crop which does not turn white in ripening,
> as roots, potatoes, etc. white crop: a crop which whitens in ripening; a
> corn or grain crop.
>  b. The annual or season's yield of any natural product.
>  10. The entire skin or hide of an animal tanned. Also short for crop-hide
> n., crop-leather n. at Compounds 3. (Cf. englische kröpfe and kropfen in
> Grimm 2395, 2400.)
>  11. transf. and fig. That which grows out of or is produced by any action;
> the ‘fruit’; a supply produced or appearing.

8.a. and 9.a. limit "crop" to plants, but 9.b. and 11. do not. "Livestock"
is more restricted, as it refers to "domestic animals", but overlooking the
"domestic" part, production of acquculture would actually fit under that
definition (animals kept on a "farm" for ... profit). So, until someone
comes up with an executive decision on whether non-plant products of
aquaculture are "livestock" or "crop", ambiguity is the order of the day.

Incidentally, OED lists Aquaculture "Occas. variant of aquiculture n.".
Interesting--this "occasional variant" is far more common in the US since
salmon became a farm product.


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