Cattle ranching often follows farming on converted rainforest land in the Neotropics. When cultivated land becomes depleted within a few years of conversion, ranchers and land speculators frequently purchase it for cattle ranches. This process is encouraged by government land policies and by the construction of paved roads, which allow easy access to markets. These operations are often subsidized by the government (see above), and financed by the sale of logging rights, so that ranching even on poor soils can be profitable if the rancher has large holdings. However, pastures, like agricultural land, will become degraded if not treated properly, and will become weedy fields unless they are cleared of debris and burned, fertilized, tilled, and planted with forage species. The capital for this kind of pasture regeneration usually comes from the sale of timber or timber concessions. In this way forests act as capital or a subsidy for pasture renewal and maintenance.

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