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What is a term for crop/livestock, something raised for indirect value?

By indirect value I mean that you're getting (deriving, harvesting) a product from it. The raising of it is not itself the product, like it might be if it were a hobby. This is the essence of the concept common to crops and livestock and the term that I'm looking for.

Research: "A crop is a plant or animal product"-Wikipedia, but it never mentions animals again the article, and it defines it as a plant product elsewhere. Didn't get a recurrence of this definition anywhere else on the web.

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    What do you mean by indirect value?
    – user 66974
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 20:52
  • 2
    Are you looking for "commodity"?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 20:55
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    Indirect values needs to be defined. Would a field of clover, raised to fix nitrogen in the soil, be an example?
    – Mary
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 21:38
  • By indirect value I mean that you're getting (deriving, harvesting) a product from it. The raising of it is not itself the product, like it might be if it were a hobby. This is the essence of the concept common to crops and livestock and the term that I'm looking for.
    – user84614
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 14:31
  • "A crop is a plant or animal product"-Wikipedia, but it never mentions animals again the article, and it defines it as a plant product elsewhere. Didn't get a recurrence of this definition anywhere else on the web.
    – user84614
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 14:38

4 Answers 4

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The best term for this is probably "raw material" (in common parlance this might not always refer to whole animals but could refer to e.g. leather or meat, as well as to plants). Raw materials aren't limited to organic matter but can include ores and other goods extracted from the planet, and wild animals caught and used in industrial processing (e.g. ocean fish processed into food). Plants grown for whatever purpose are often called "crops" while animals are "livestock" but the answers here suggest there is no common term combining the two.

A larger category (mentioned in another answer) is "producer goods" which includes raw materials but also machinery used in the production process.

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  • This is the best answer for what I was looking for.
    – user84614
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 13:29
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In economics, it’s called an intermediate good or a producer good, in contrast to consumer goods or in more formal terms, final goods and services.

Indirect value isn’t the right term. These goods are sold as inputs to other goods or products, perhaps in a long chain.

As you suggest in the question, corn is grown (primarily) to feed cattle or make corn syrup or ethanol, only partly to sell to consumers as a vegetable.

The same product (e.g., flour) can be sold to households for baking or to bakeries, where the final good is bread or cookies or whatever.

When gross domestic product is calculated, it’s final goods and services that we want, so the flour used to make the bread that’s sold isn’t double-counted.

See the Investopedia article for more detail.

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  • I've no idea who downvoted this, nor why – the undisputably correct answer/s as far as I can see. With a sound supporting linked reference. And I'm unclear as to why it's not been accepted. Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 10:55
  • Not the downvoter, but these are primary goods. Intermediate or secondary goods would be things like animal feed made from grain, and leather made from animal hides.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 14:15
  • "Producer goods" include livestock and crops, but also commercially collected wild animals and plants (eg fisheries), mined minerals, and other things extracted from ground, sea, or air, as well as machinery and consumables used in the production process (from lathes to laser printer toner cartridges).
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 0:41
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Consider the term cash crop.

Cash crops are agricultural crops that are planted for the purpose of selling on the market or for export to make profit, as distinguished from subsistence crops planted for the purpose of self-supply of the farmer (like livestock feeding or food for the family).

Eurostat

In common usage, though, it would be unusual to call this an indirect product.

Consider a farmer who plants corn.

It might be clinically correct to say that the thing raised is the whole plant, including the stem, roots, flowers, fruit, etc. You also can't be faulted for saying that the farmer isn't selling farming services, where he'd be paid for tilling, watering, harvesting and so on.

However, in common usage, the thing that the farmer is said to 'plant' is the corn. The tilling and watering etc are just part of the cost of doing business, so to speak. By the same token, the roots, stem and so on are the by-product, not the main focus of the planting. The whole farming enterprise has (in this case) the corn as its main focus.

So if you referred to the corn as the "indirect value" of their efforts, or the 'by-product' of what they grew, they'd probably tell you that the corn was instead the centerpiece, the whole point of their endeavour. Take away the corn, and there'd be no point doing any of the farming work.

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A word that encompasses both crops and livestock, as well as other things, is cultivate (I will include all of its senses):

[Merriam-Webster]
1 : to prepare or prepare and use for the raising of crops
   // Some fields are cultivated while others lie fallow.
   also : to loosen or break up the soil about (growing plants)
2 a : to foster the growth of
      // cultivate vegetables
      // cultivate coffee
2 b : CULTURE sense 2a
       // cultivate oysters for pearls
2 c : to improve by labor, care, or study : REFINE
      // cultivate the mind
      // … cultivated a reputation as a hard-core wheeler-dealer …
      — Kit Boss
3 : FURTHER, ENCOURAGE
// cultivate the arts
4 : to seek the society of : make friends with
// looking for influential people to cultivate as friends

Although it would be more natural to just say that you were raising animals, as in the question itself, if used with livestock specifically, cultivate would use the second sense of the word (fostering the animals growth)—or a metaphorical form of the first sense.

The equivalent noun is cultivation.

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  • I would find it hard to say that sheep or apples are (a?) cultivation.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 11:17
  • Not the tense I was looking for but it does cover the concept as a whole. (Cultivars could work, if it isn't particularly idiomatic and tends to refer to 'types' not instances.)
    – user84614
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 13:29

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