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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.