Definitions

pasture

pasture

[pas-cher, pahs-]
pasture, land used for grazing livestock. Land unsuited for cultivation, e.g., hilly or stony land, may be used as pasture. Tilled land and meadow may be pastured after the crops are removed. Pastures that have been overgrazed and in which such soil-improving practices as liming, fertilizing, and seeding have been neglected lose a part of the feed nutrients required by livestock. Good management of pastures also calls for rotation of animals, because the composition of manure, which affects the nutrients in the soil, varies with the kind of animal being grazed, and also because different animals graze on different species of pasturage plants. Among other requirements are a sufficient water supply, trees to provide shade, and eradication of weeds. Most forage plants seeded in pastures are types of grass or clover. Many are suitable not only for grazing but also for cutting and storage as hay. See also range.

Pasture is land with herbaceous vegetation cover used for grazing of ungulate livestock as part of a farm or ranch. Prior to the advent of mechanized farming, pasture was the primary source of food for grazing animals such as cattle and horses. It is still used extensively, particularly in arid regions where pasture land is unsuitable for any other agricultural production. In more humid regions, pasture grazing is exploited extensively for free range and organic farming.

Pasture growth can consist of grasses, legumes, other forbs, shrubs or a mixture. Soil type, minimum annual temperature, and rainfall are important factors in pasture management.

See also

Search another word or see pastureon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature