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Range & Pasture

Cattle graze in a rotational grazing system in Marion County, Iowa.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.

Popular Conservation Practices for Grazing Operations

Below are some of the more popular conservation practices that Iowa farmers install to treat resource concerns related to grazing land operations as outlined in their conservation plans:

Popular Conservation Practices for Grazing Operations
528 Prescribed Grazing 382 Fence: Barbed and Woven Wire 382 Fence: Electric
516 Livestock Pipeline 511 Forage Harvest Management 560 Access Road
614 Watering Facility 561 Heavy Use Protection Area 578 Stream Crossing
512 Forage and Biomass Planting 576 Livestock Shelter Structure 314 Brush Management
315 Herbaceous Weed Treatment 338 Prescribed Burning 533 Pumping Plant
642 Water Well 575 Trails and Walkways 381 Silvopasture
574 Spring Development 380 Windbreak/Shelterbelt  







Popular Conservation Practices for Winter Feeding Stations
561 Heavy Use Protection Area 558 Roof Runoff Structure 560 Access Road
367 Roofs and Covers 313 Waste Storage Facility  




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