1997 Results - Pastureland
Results - Pastureland Utah
Pastureland in Utah covers about 1 percent of the total land surface of the
state or 4 percent of the total nonfederal rural land. Between 1982 and 1997
there was an increase of pastureland in the amount of about 156,200 acres.
According to NRI data, most of this was the result of cropland being converted
Pasture is defined as introduced forage plants for grazing. It doesn't have to
be grazed all the time to be pastureland. Many livestock producers have used it
as a suitable practice to provide feed through the growing season. In some areas
of the state, it will provide feed through the winter months. Land in pasture
serves to stabilize soils that might otherwise erode under normal cropping
conditions, thereby preserving a vital resource. Another advantage to using
pasture for feed is the possible use of alfalfa or other legume, with the native
or introduced grasses. It provides nitrogen to the plants and extra nutrients to
the livestock that graze it.
Pasture is a favored land use in virtually all areas of Utah. If irrigated it
will be found in the irrigated valleys and basins with other cropping systems.
If it is non-irrigated, it will be in those areas where the precipitation is
over 12 inches per year and the frost-free season is over 50 days per year.
Maintenance of pastureland includes fertilization, efficient watering, and
control of undesirable plants and sustainable grazing pressure. Many of the
state's dairymen and ranchers depend on this land use to sustain their