Carbon workshops are popular with farmers

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) declares its Trees on Farms: Opportunities with Carbon The workshops are a hit with farmers across the country.

The workshops, which aim to improve farmers’ understanding of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the zero carbon bill, help identify ways to generate financial return from the financing programs of the ETS, localized tree planting and land withdrawal.

“During the workshops, farmers learn about the integration of trees into pastoral farming systems, ETS and the possibilities of offsetting greenhouse gas emissions,” explains Maria Shanks, B+LNZ Extension Manager.

Shanks says B+LNZ sees trees as an important part of pastoralist-based farming systems.

“It is important that farmers’ efforts are recognized through their planting programs and these workshops help unlock some of the economic benefits they have. At the end of the workshop, they have a clear idea of ​​the options relevant to their farming business.

Following successful pilot workshops in Bay of Plenty and Waitomo, the program has been rolled out nationwide.

Shanks says the program has received positive feedback with more than 100 farmers attending two workshops in Northland in May, followed by 80 in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato in June.

“Farmers told us they left the workshop with a clear idea of ​​the options they wanted to explore further,” she says.

“We want to make sure farmers get the most out of the workshops and can get relevant information about their specific farming situation and circumstances.”

Rotorua farmer Richard Fowler, who has attended workshops in Opotiki and Rotorua, encouraged other farmers to sign up and find out how the program could benefit them too.

“It’s a complicated question, and this workshop gives you great insight into how to integrate trees into your agricultural portfolio for multiple benefits, including financial performance,” he says.

“The workshop gave me a better understanding of ETS and how we can leverage it for our farm, so farmers should take the time to sign up.”

Although B+LNZ is not anti-forestry, it has called on the government to limit the amount of offset allowed through the ETS due to concerns over the sale and conversion of entire farms to carbon forestry. , which has a significant negative impact on rural areas. communities.

“We know that many farmers are looking to incorporate trees into their farms, both exotic and native, and that’s a good thing. Farmers know their land best,” says Shanks.

“It’s about planting the right tree, in the right place, for the right reason, and the Trees on farms: Opportunities with carbon workshops really help with that.

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