Pasture refers to land that is usually kept in permanent grasses and other plants for the purpose of livestock grazing. It is usually fenced. Overall, as of 2002, most counties in Pennsylvania had relatively little pasture land, while close to half of the US land in farms was in pasture. In Pennsylvania, this figure is well under thirty percent. While historical comparisons are difficult, it is reasonably certain that pasture lands may have declined as the proportion of total Pennsylvania farm acreage; at the least they have not increased. Likely, this is because livestock raising has shifted to feeding animals grain and silage, and relying less on pasture. Also, the dairying industry experienced serious economic downturns, resulting in less dairy activity overall in the state. On the other hand, interest in organic livestock raising and rotational grazing is on the rise.

Image of pasture in Cross Creek Township, Washington County
This photo shows a pasture fenced with woven wire fencing in Washington County.