A neighbour of mine once lamented that two days after he had mowed his lawn in the spring it was like the regrowth was giving him the fingers. I remembered this recently when I heard a discussion on the radio where a Dairy NZ spokesman was saying farmers wanted the mitigating effect of their trees and shrubs to be entered into the farm greenhouse gas equation. Some anonymous person then text or emailed the radio station and had their contribution read out…”What’s next, my roses and lawn?” This comment was meant to be very dismissive but it raises a valid point. Why are pasture and fodder crops not entered into the farm gas equation? The data tells us their CO2 captured is comparable with trees! Adversaries would argue the pasture is soon eaten and some is converted into methane. But if it is a good thing to grow crops to convert to ethanol (to be burnt in engines and boilers) or for industries to mitigate their emissions by buying carbon credits from forests capturing CO2, then why can’t farmers use carbon credits from pasture and fodder crops they grow? To me it’s not a question of science but one of marketing and politics.