Permanent grassland is land used permanently (for several - usually more than five - consecutive years)
- to grow herbaceous forage crops, through cultivation (sown) or naturally (self-seeded);
- not included in the crop rotation scheme on the agricultural holding.
Permanent grassland can be used for grazing by livestock or mown for hay, silage (stocking in a silo) or used for renewable energy production.
Three different types of permanent grassland are identified in the Farm structure survey (FSS):
- pasture and meadow, excluding rough grazing: permanent pasture on good or medium quality soils, which can normally be used for intensive grazing;
- rough grazings: low-yielding permanent grassland, usually on low-quality soil (for example on hilly land and at high altitudes), usually unimproved by fertiliser, cultivation, reseeding or drainage, which can normally be used only for extensive grazing and are normally not mown or are mown in an extensive manner and which cannot support a large density of animals;
- permanent grassland no longer used for production purposes and eligible for the payment of subsidies which, in line with Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 or, where applicable, the most recent legislation, are maintained in good agricultural and environmental condition and are eligible for financial support.