Pasture lands are diverse types of land where the primary vegetation produced is herbaceous plants and shrubs. These lands provide forage for beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, horses and other types of domestic livestock. Also many species of wildlife, ranging from big game such as elk to nesting song birds such as meadowlarks, depend on these lands for food and cover.
Primary economic outputs include livestock production, but wildlife values are also a major economic consideration for these lands, especially range lands. Environmental values of these lands are extensive and provide many essential ecosystem services, such as clean water, wildlife and fish habitat, and recreation opportunities. Scenic, cultural, and historic values of these lands provide not only economic benefits, but also quality of life values cherished by many.
Other Grazing Lands
Most grazing lands are considered either range or pasture, but grazing lands also include grazed forest lands, grazed croplands, haylands, and native/naturalized pasture. These other land use types make up an additional 106 million acres of privately owned grazing lands, or about 17% of the total U. S. grazing lands. These other types of grazing lands provide a significant forage resource for U. S. livestock production.
Pasture Management Resources
The following documents require Acrobat Reader or Microsoft Excel.
Pasture Condition Score Sheet - A tool to record the condition of the indicators and evaluate the pasture. This goes with the Guide to Pasture Condition Scoring. (PDF, 56 KB)
Guide to Pasture Condition Scoring - Developed by GLTI in May 2001, the guide is used to inform landowners as well as professionals of the 10 indicators of pasture condition and the 6 causative factors affecting plant vigor with a procedure to assess each indicator. (PDF, 391 KB)