Definition of terms

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Name Description Related terms

A statistical test in which a test statistic has a known distribution (such as a normal distribution) under the null hypothesis.

face shield

A transparent piece of protective equipment used by a pesticide applicator to protect the face from exposure.

facultative parasite

An organism that can grow either on living or dead organic matter.

Compare with 'obligate (obligate parasite)'.


Cropland left idle to restore productivity, primarily through accumulating water or nutrients or both. The soil is tilled for at least one growing season to destroy weeds, to encourage moisture storage, and to promote decomposition of plant residues.


The practice of leaving land in a cultivated state for a period of time prior to sowing a crop or between subsequent crops.

fan nozzle

A nozzle in which two streams of liquid are caused to converge, which produces on impact a fan-shaped sheet of liquid.

FAO and WHO Specifications for Pesticides

From r. 3 of the Agvet Code Regulations (unless the contrary intention appears):

Means specifications for pesticides, or plant protection products published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations or the World Health Organization of the United Nations.

FAO tolerances

Tolerances established by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on the content of active constituents of single determinations, taking into account analytical and sampling errors and the manufacturing variations.


A distortion of a plant caused by an injury or infection that results in thin, flattened and sometimes curved shoots. The plant may look as if several of its stems were fused.


The ability of a female organism to produce offspring, often used in relation to certain effects of insecticides on female insects.


From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

Includes a fee that is a tax.

feed additive

Any substance or agent added to a basic feed mix for continuous long-term administration to livestock for a specific purpose (eg enhancing production or maintaining health above levels obtained from the basic feed, improving storage qualities and/or palatability of the basic feed mix).

feed efficiency or feed conversion efficiency

The amount of bodyweight gained per unit of feed consumed


Of, or pertaining to, cats.


A chemical that produces a toxic reaction or death in a foetus (unborn) of test animals when administered to the pregnant dam (mother animal).


All transient or permanent toxic or degenerative effects induced in an embryo or foetus.

Fibre-producing animal
fibre-producing animal species

Any animal used to produce fibre (including wool and mohair) for human use.

field crop

Any crop grown in a field, but not including crops grown in an orchard, garden, plantation, vineyard or pasture.

field efficacy study

Larger scale study to determine the efficacy and safety of an agvet chemical product under actual use conditions.

field isolate

A collection of a subpopulation of a pest or parasite from the field for the conduct of efficacy evaluation of an agvet chemical product, where the collection of the subpopulation was made less than 10 years ago.

field splitting

Involves treating the upwind section of a field, leaving the required buffer distance to neighbouring sensitive areas unsprayed (a 'no-spray zone'), until there is a favourable change in wind direction.

field trial or study

A scientific investigation to assess the efficacy and/or safety of a product under field conditions in the target animal or crop using the product in accordance with the actual or proposed label instructions.


From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

Includes a file of information stored or recorded by means of a computer.


A diluent in powder form.

final lot

For immunobiologicals, a collection of closed, final containers or other final dosage units that are expected to be homogeneous and equivalent with respect to risk of contamination during filling or preparation of the final product. Preparation from the same final bulk lot of the immunobiological product is freeze-dried together (if applicable) and closed in one continuous working session.

final sample

The aggregate sample, or a representative part of the aggregate sample obtained from the latter by a process of reduction, that forms the basis for obtaining a laboratory sample.

fine granule

A granule of particle size ranging from 300 to 2500 &microm.

fine powder

A powder of particle size up to 75 µm in diameter.

fine spray

A dispersion of drops of 100 to 200 micrometre (&microm) volume median diameter.


A portion of a solid material in the form of fine particles, smaller than a specified size.

finished product

The completed, formulated product in its final dosage or administrative form and held in the final sealed container and packaging, in the form that is intended to be released for supply to the market.

first aid instructions

First aid is the immediate treatment or care given to a person suffering from an injury or illness until more advanced care is provided or the person recovers. The label instructions that specify initial action to be taken to ameliorate the effects of exposure to a product. First aid instructions are derived from the FAISD Handbook: handbook of first aid instructions, safety directions, warning statements and general safety precautions for agricultural and veterinary chemicals. First aid instructions may include decontamination measures, administration of antidotes (where applicable) and advice to refer the victim for medical treatment. There are standard first aid statements that apply to agricultural and veterinary chemical products when they are scheduled as poisons. First aid statements are addressed to exposed individuals, bystanders, first aid officers and ambulance officers.

fit and proper
fit and proper test

The fit and proper person test is applied to existing and prospective holders before they are issued a permit or a manufacturing licence. The test requires the APVMA to be satisfied that an applicant can comply with the conditions of the permit or licence and that a relevant person has not committed a relevant offence in the previous 10 years.

flag stage

The stage of development in cereals and other grasses at which the sheath and leaf have been produced.


Readily ignitable. A word used to describe a chemical that may be ignited by sparks, flame, or the application of heat.

flammable liquid

A liquid of a flash point of 21˚C or more, but of less than 55˚C (as determined by the closed cup method).

flash emulsion

An emulsion that forms as soon as an emulsion concentrate is added to water. Such an emulsion does not require pre-mixing or prolonged stirring, but is formed instantaneously.

flash point

The lowest temperature at which a liquid forms a flammable vapour or air mixture under standard conditions.

A figure that indicates the temperature at which a liquid becomes a fire hazard. This information is very important to ensure compliance with safety regulations regarding storage and use.

floating plant

A free-floating or anchored aquatic plant adapted to grow with most of its vegetative tissue at or above the water surface that lowers or rises with the water level.


Joining together of particles in a suspension into 'floc'. The 'floc' may then float to the top of the liquid or settle to the bottom of the liquid.


All of the sheep on an individual property.


Plant life.


The property of flowing possessed by dusts, colloids or liquids.


A very finely ground, solid material that is suspended in a liquid and that usually contains a high concentration of active constituent and must be mixed with water when applied. Usually known as a 'suspension concentrate'.

foaming agent

A material that causes a pesticide mixture to form a thick foam. A formulation may be foamed to help reduce drift.


An aerosol generator that breaks pesticides into very fine droplets (aerosols or smokes) and blows or drifts the 'fog' onto the target area.


The leaves, needles, stems and blades of plants or grasses.

foliage acting

A herbicide that is active when applied to foliage.

foliage applied herbicides

Compounds that penetrate the outer waxy cuticle and are absorbed into the leaf tissue, where they may or may not be translocated basipetally in the phloem.

foliar application

Spraying a pesticide onto stems, leaves, needles and blades of grasses, plants, shrubs or trees.


Any substance, whether processed, semi-processed or raw, that is intended for human consumption, but does not include cosmetics or tobacco or substances used only as drugs.

food additive

Any substance added to food but not normally consumed as a food by itself and not normally used as a typical ingredient of food, whether or not it has nutritive value. The intentional addition of a food additive to food for a technological purpose in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of such foods results in the additive, or its by-products, becoming a component of, or otherwise affecting the characteristics of, such foods. The term does not include contaminants.

food chain

A succession of living organisms in which one feeds, at least in part, on the preceding one.

Food crop

Includes any crop that is intended for, or capable of being used for, human consumption or as a feed for food species. It does not include tobacco or crops used in human or veterinary drug or medicine production unless by-products of those crops are foods, or feeds for food species.

food factor

A relative (in per cent) or absolute (in grams) amount of a foodstuff in the total diet.

Food Standards Code

Legislative instruments developed and maintained by Food Standards Australia New Zealand that are national standards for the composition and labelling of food for human consumption, food safety standards (including requirements for food handling) and primary production and processing standards. Maximum residue limits are included in the code. The standards are enforced under individual state and territory food Acts.

food web

A series of interconnected food chains, having three principal trophic levels—producers, consumers and reducers.

Food-producing animal
food-producing animal species

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

Means an animal that produces food for human consumption or is used as food for human beings, and includes:

  1. any buffalo, cattle, deer, fish (other than ornamental fish), goat, kangaroo, pig, poultry, rabbit, sheep, bee, crustacean or mollusc, or
  2. any animal declared by the [Agvet Code] regulations to be a food-producing species.
foodborne microorganisms

Microorganisms that are carried on or in food commodities and may be potential pathogens. They may be resistant to antibiotics or may carry resistance-transferable genetic elements. Examples include Salmonella enterica serovars; Campylobacter species, particularly C. jejuni and C. coli; Escherichia coli; Enterococcus faecium; and Klebsiella species.

for sale
forage crop

A crop grown specifically for the purpose of being grazed by, or fed to, livestock, but excluding pasture. The term excludes crops such as cereals, oilseeds, vegetables and cole crops, which may be grazed as opportunity crops. If any of these other crops are grown for forage, they should be referred to as crops for forage, eg 'cereals for forage'.


Natural afforestation and reforestation areas used specifically for timber production, national parks and natural forest areas used for scenic purposes.

formamidine insecticide

An insecticide with a mode of action that is highly effective against insect eggs and mites.


The process of combining a pesticide-active constituent with various carriers, adjuvants, solvents, etc. to develop the final product.

formulated product
formulated products

An agvet chemical product prepared for supply that includes an active constituent and may also contain other non-active constituents that are combined to prepare the product for supply and make it useful and effective for the purpose claimed.

The act or process of preparing an agvet chemical product for supply, as carried out by manufacturers or formulators of products.

formulation change

From r. 3 of the Agvet Code Regulations (unless the contrary intention appears):

In relation to a chemical product, means:

  • a change in the source of any active constituent of the product, or
  • a variation in the amount or concentration of one or more of the active constituents, or other constituents, of the product, or
  • the addition to the product, or removal from the product of one or more of the active constituents, or other constituents, of the product.
formulation site

Any site(s) associated with the formulation or packaging of an agricultural or veterinary chemical product.

formulation type

From r. 3 of the Agvet Code Regulations (unless the contrary intention appears):


  1. for an agricultural chemical product—the formulation code and description that:
    1. are set out in guidelines made under section 6A of the [Agvet] Code as in force from time to time, and
    2. apply to the product, and
  2. for a veterinary chemical product—the form of the product.

Examples: A capsule, emulsifiable concentrate, injectable solution, implant, intramammary treatment, oral drench or tablet.

formulation type code

A code given to distinguish between formulation types in APVMA records and often used on labels to describe the type of formulation (format) of a product.

Currently used APVMA codes for formulation types are:

  • AC aqueous concentrate
  • AE aerosol
  • BA bait
  • CS (aqueous) capsule suspension
  • DC dispersible concentrate
  • DP dustable powder
  • DS powder for dry seed treatment
  • DT tablet for direct application
  • EC emulsifiable concentrate
  • EG emulsifiable granule
  • EP emulsifiable powder
  • ES emulsion for seed treatment
  • EW emulsion, oil-in-water
  • FS suspension concentrate for seed treatment
  • GR granule
  • LD liquid
  • LS solution for seed treatment
  • LV liquid vaporiser
  • MC mosquito coil
  • ME micro-emulsion
  • MV vaporising mat
  • OD oil dispersion
  • OL oil-miscible liquid
  • SC (aqueous) suspension concentrate
  • SE suspo-emulsion
  • SG water-soluble granule
  • SL soluble concentrate
  • SP water-soluble powder
  • SS water-soluble powder for seed treatment
  • UL/ULV ultra-low-volume liquid
  • WG water-dispersible granules
  • WP wettable powder

The wet or dry sawdust-like material excreted by borers or other insects.


The tendency to break down into smaller pieces in storage or on handling.

frilling (or frill application)

The girdling or cutting of the bark of a tree preparatory to the application of a chemical to kill the tree.

fruiting body

A complex fungal structure that contains or bears spores.


A measure of the tendency of a substance to move from one phase to another or from one site to another.


Smoke, vapour or gas.


A pesticide that, at normal ambient temperature and pressure, exists in the gaseous state in sufficient concentration to be lethal to a given pest organism or inhibitory to a given pest organism.


Use of a fumigant to control a pest. Fumigation is the process of releasing and dispersing a chemical so that it reaches the organism as a vapour.


fungi or fungus

All non-chlorophyll-bearing thallophytes including rusts, mildews, mushrooms, moulds and yeast.


Able to kill fungal spores or mycelium.

fungicidal activity

The potential of a product to produce a reduction in the number of viable vegetative yeast cells and mould spores of relevant test organisms under defined conditions.


Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, killing, destroying, repelling or controlling any fungi (vegetative mycelia, budding yeasts and/or their spores) under defined conditions.


A pesticide that keeps fungi from growing or slows down the growth of the fungi.


Able to prevent the growth or development of fungal spores without killing them.

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