To Nick Smith from Helena T 11 August 2010

Dear Sir,

 We understand that ruminants emit methane,which causes global warming 
and so must pay , but what about all the  CO2 sequestering grass we 
pastoral farmers grow to feed our stock? Why don't we get Carbon credits 
paid or compensated for like foresters?

 According to a recent European Commission Report grasslands have the 
potential to sequester large amounts of Carbon on an ongoing basis. In the 
UK the potential sequestering would be 670kg C/ha/a year, which would 
offset all the methane emissions of beef cattle and half of those of 
dairy cattle.Our farms could be farmed as Carbon sinks just like forestry 
and as long as we grow grass, it is ongoing.

Not only does permanent  grassland sequester CO2 through the green grass that's growing, but the delicate soil structure below also sequesters and stores C into the 
soil. According to a field report by Darren Doherty, grasslands can take in 
more CO2 than trees. Grasslands sequester C quickly and 
cheaply. Deep rooting plants like chickory, plantain etc will sequester C 
into the deeper parts of the soil where it will be permanently stored.

In Australia a system of soil carbon credits has been developed by 
soilscientist Christine Jones. This Soil Carbon Accreditation Scheme 
[ASCAS] has been establishedto give farmers credits for storing C.Through 
farm trials with deep rooted perenial pastures and annual crops,measured 
soilcarbon increased quickly and growers could be rewarded with incentive 
payments for C sequestered. This scheme is the first in the Southern 
hemisphere, making Australia a leader in the recognition of soils as a 
verifiable C sink.

In the USA cattle are grown from weaner calves untill slaughter ,in huge 
feedlots, being fed on subsidised maize. Also in Europe and some Asian 
countries, increasing stock numbers are fed imported feeds from tropical 
countries making these farms into farmfactories, which also  accumulate 
large mountains of rotting manure emitting even more methane, but we 
pastoral farmers in NZ grow our stock on honest C sequestering 
grassland. and the manures dont contribute to methane emissions, as 
natural earth life incorporates it straight into the soil.

 We urge you to get research done on CO2 exchanges on our farm lands and 
work out a system so that we pastoral farmers get our fair share of C 
trading to offset our ETS tax on our livestock. This is very important as 
there are already farmers saying, " We will earn more from our land by 
planting trees--  we will sell all our stock-"   [  See this week's Aug. 
2 Farmers Weekly. p19.]
 Is this what we want to happen to NZ?

 From concerned farmers
 Helena T