It's not often I agree with the farming lobby's stance on big issues, but when it comes to their resistance to covering productive lowland pastures in pine forest they have a very good argument.

As I recently pointed out, the Billion Trees programme looks fine on paper and may help ameliorate New Zealand's carbon debt, but if pinus radiata is the main crop (as it is for 90 per cent of our plantation forest) it's a short-term solution and one which could wind up doing far more harm than good.

Given overseas interests are rapidly buying up productive livestock farms

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