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.
Pasture lands are located in all 50 states of the US. Privately owned range and pasture lands makes up over 27% (528 million acres) of the total acreage of the contiguous 48 states, and these lands constitute the largest private lands use category, exceeding both forest land (21%) and crop land (18%).
In Indiana, we have approximately 762,619 acres of pastureland.
"Welcome to management-intensive grazing. This manual will help improve your understanding of basic grazing concepts. The information here should be applicable to any Hoosier grazier of any livestock species."
"Extending the grazing season and filling gaps in pasture forage availability to reduce stored feed needs can help improve the environment, lessen the impact of weather, provide quality forage for better animal performance, and reduce labor and expenses. This publication outlines strategies that can be used in some or many areas to extend grazing and reduce stored feed needs, thus increasing profit."
Formerly the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative or GLCI, the National Grazing Lands Coalition was founded to provide high quality technical assistance on privately owned grazing lands on a voluntary basis and to increase the awareness of the importance of grazing land resources. Established in 1991, the National GLC is carried out through coalitions of individuals and organizations functioning at the local, state, regional and national levels. The coalition’s include livestock producer organizations, scientific and professional grazing resource organizations, conservation and environmental groups, and state and federal natural resource and agriculture agencies.