Cattlemen are in an interesting situation now with added cash flow coming from cull cow sales and the steady to rising tide of calf income. 

We fall prey to the temptation to spend when extra cash arrives in our checking accounts. It may be a replacement tractor, a new piece of hay equipment, a better truck or piece of shop equipment we could never afford. 

Each farm is different and you know the best use of income, but some spending is more likely to create return.

Now is a good time to pay down debt and to target spending to income-producing assets.

Improving soil fertility is a good start. For most beef farms, hay production requires regular replacement of nutrients, as we export them from the hay field to the feeding area. Farmers know that nutrients must go back where they came from or the land will revert to briars, bushes, and forest. 

Hay making forces us to replace nutrients, an annual problem with few easy answers, as fertilizer demand increases world-wide with living standards.  

Maybe legumes can grow some or all of the nitrogen you need. With pasture ground, your soil fertility investments will stay with you as cattle retain only about 10 percent of what they eat, slowly exporting nutrients off the farm as they are sold.