WV Farm Bureau Magazine November 2014 - Page 14

Use livestock profits for farm improvements C attle prices are at an all-time high and are expected to remain high for two to three more years. The additional income generated by these prices will likely result in greater taxes. However, if this income is reinvested in your operation, you can save taxes and increase longterm business productivity. Purchasing equipment often reduces taxes; however, making agronomic improvements can be a greater value. Agronomic investments can help manage taxes, while also improving soil health, forage production, and farm productivity. Improve soil health Agronomic investments can help manage taxes, while also improving soil health, forage production, and farm productivity. Since pasture soil is often neglected, use the surplus income to improve soil, thus improving pastureland yields. Begin by collecting soil samples and having them analyzed by a qualified laboratory. Soil testing is available at no cost to West Virginia residents through the WVU Soil Testing Laboratory. Remember, to take soil samples from each boundary in the field or the results will be meaningless. Use the soil test results to purchase lime, fertilizer, and/or seed in 2014 for application this fall or next spring. Interpreting soil test Interpreting soil test results and deciding which products to purchase in order to meet recommendations can sometimes be difficult. The WVU Extension Service has a number of fact sheets and calculation tools available to assist with the management of soil fertility. Visit http://anr.ext.wvu.edu/forage/soil-fertilityand-its-management to learn more. the fall and winter months and can be stockpiled under tarps for spring application. Also, consider prepaying for conventional fertilizers before the end of the year and taking delivery next spring. Lime applications are best applied during fall months to allow the lime to react as it is moves into the soil from winter precipitation. Changes in soil pH as a result of liming impact soil nutrient availability so establish a regular soil sampling routine to maintain economic efficiency. These pasture fertility amendments typically provide benefits for a three- to five-year period. Plant legumes Frost seeding pastures with legume spe