While cropland prices have received considerable attention, pasture land prices have also increased considerably in recent years. The main animals on pasture land differ across the United States, but regardless of the type, pasture land is mainly used for beef production.
How Many Acres of Pasture Land Do We Have?
The National Resources Inventory (NRI) reported 409 million acres of rangeland and 119 million acres of pasture land for the contiguous 48 states. This ratio figures to 21% and 6%, respectively, of the 1.9 billion acres of land and water.
Like cropland, pasture land values which include both improved pasture and rangeland have risen dramatically in the recent years. While the average has leveled off, U.S. pasture values have roughly doubled in the last ten years.
Pasture Land Management
If you are going to raise livestock, knowing how you are going to feed them is a critically important factor in the design of your farm. Are you going to produce crops to feed your animals, are you going to raise crops to feed other animals? Can you graze your livestock, or will you need to buy feed? Many farms have enough acres to produce field crops or to use as pasture. Whether to raise field crops or to use the land as pasture should depend on soil type as well as your farm goals.
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