What Do You Call A Tract Of Land Used For Crops Or Livestock? | askBAMLand

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What do you call a tract of land used for raising crops or livestock? Here's a guide to the different types of agricultural land and what they're used for.

A tract of land used for raising crops or livestock is generally termed a farm or farmland. However, there are sub-designations where those specific to crops may be called a field, and animals are technically reared on a farm.

Knowing the correct terms for a piece of land is essential if you are looking to purchase or lease a property for growing crops and livestock. You can identify which type would best fit your needs by understanding the various types of tracts, such as pastureland, cropland, hayfields, and ranches. You can also better understand how any zoning laws may affect what type of land you can use for your project. With the proper knowledge of these terms, you will be able to make informed decisions about purchasing or leasing land to raise livestock or crops.

Key Takeaways

  • A piece of land used for crops and livestock is commonly termed farmland.
  • There are subcategories of land that designate specific usage and zoning.
  • Subcategories include; pastureland, cropland, hayfields, and ranches.

Table of Contents

What Is The Term For Land Used for Crops or Livestock

A tract of land used for raising animals as livestock or crops is known as a farm. Traditionally farms were run by families, providing them with food and a source of income. Today many farms are owned by a public or private entity where specific terminology helps with land zoning and taxation.

Modern-day farms may be large commercial operations run by businesses and employ the use of cutting-edge technology to bring efficiency to the farming process.

No matter the size, the goal is always to produce high-quality products that are safe for human consumption. Many farms have multiple sections for planting different types of crops or grazing different types of animals.

Each section requires its own techniques and maintenance schedule to nurture optimal growth and productivity. From small family-owned farms to vast tracts used for industrial farming, all these contribute to the steady supply of agricultural products on the market today.

Let’s explore some of the subcategories we see in the farming industry.

What is a Pastureland

Pastureland is land with lush grass and vegetation that provides a sustainable habitat for livestock such as cows, sheep, and horses.

Such lands are usually surrounded by fences to contain the livestock in a particular area while they graze on the grass.

The type of vegetation required for a pasture to be good quality depends on the animals it houses; typically pasturelands require tough but succulent perennial plants like clovers, bluegrass and ryegrass.

In addition to providing sustenance and shelter to animals, pastureland also serves an important purpose in continuity of farming activities by maintaining fertility of soil through efficient use of manure and other natural resources. It also provides us with raw materials like wool, animal proteins, leather and hides that support many industries. As such, pastures form an integral part of our agricultural landscape.


When it comes to zoning an area for pastureland, taking into account the necessary requirements is essential to promote the health and well-being of animals, the environment, and the people who will use the land.

The necessary zoning should include access to fresh water, shade, and shelter, space for grazing and movement of livestock, adequate land drainage, pest control regulations, and ecological considerations.

Furthermore, ensuring that pastures are correctly bounded to provide adequate safety measures is also important. These measures combined will help ensure that pasturelands can remain a viable source of food production while protecting our natural resources.

What is a Cropland

Cropland is a term used to refer to any area of land used for cultivating crops and other plants. It encompasses many different types of terrain, including forests, pastures, and meadows.

Cropland plays an essential role in the global food system by providing nutritional food for the world’s population. In addition to growing edible plants, croplands are also used to produce items like flax and cotton which are used in a variety of manufactured goods.

This form of agriculture is both sustainable and efficient since it allows farmers to use their resources more skillfully while providing consumers with the items they need most.


To protect the valuable resources that are used for cropland, it is essential to implement an effective zoning strategy.

By doing so, landowners can ensure that those who wish to use their land for farming can access the necessary resources and avoid overcrowding or competing interests with neighboring properties.

To this end, zoning should be designed to give farmers exclusive access to irrigation systems, water sources, and other utilities.

It should also designate specific parcels for certain types of agricultural activities, such as seed culturing or livestock production. Ultimately, balanced zoning will help promote the efficient use of cropland and sustainably foster its development.

What is a Hayfield

A hayfield is an open piece of land where Hay or a grass crop such as alfalfa is grown to be cut and dried for animal feed. Grazing animals, like cows or sheep, can also feed directly from the hayfield.

Traditionally, Scotch Mixtures and California Annuals are used to grow hay crops in mild climates. It is important to ensure a proper rotation of the fields, with plots being rotated in order to provide a larger yield when harvest rolls around.

In addition, the soil must be tested on a regular basis in order to guarantee a quality product and proper nutritional levels for grazing animals.


If you're thinking of planting a hayfield, zoning is an important factor to consider. The type of zoning you'll need depends on the crop and whether it will be used for personal or commercial purposes.

Ideally, the hayfield should be located in an area dedicated to agricultural use as that ensures there are no restrictions that might affect your crop yield. Other favorable zoning considerations include setting the hayfield far away from any unknown pollutants and having access to ample amounts of water, with proper drainage systems in place.

If you seek out commercial ventures, keep in mind that most local governments will want detailed crop plans before granting permission to violate agricultural zoning laws. Taking these steps before jumping into planting a hayfield will not only help efficiently manage future operations but also save you from potential legal issues down the line.

What is a Ranch

A ranch is an area of land that has traditionally been used for the purposes of raising and herding livestock, such as cows, horses, and sheep.

Though it's important to note that a "ranch" can technically refer to any type of property with notable acreage, the term itself is typically associated with agricultural activity. In order for a ranch to be successful, it needs to have ample access to water, open space for grazing, and high-quality soil.


Of course, zoning plays a major role in determining whether or not a given plot of land can be used as a ranch.

Zoning issues are generally handled at the local level by city governments, which are charged with ensuring that land is being used in appropriate ways. Ultimately, ranches depend on zoning laws that allow them to properly utilize their property and uphold traditional practices like livestock farming.


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

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