Jeremy Clarkson discusses Brexit’s impact on his farm as he details ‘big problems’

Clarkson's Farm: Jeremy Clarkson stars in Amazon Prime trailer

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Jeremy Clarkson, 60, has had a tough run of it since purchasing his Chipping Norton farm, as he has encountered a number of obstacles including bad weather and the ramifications of Brexit. The born-again farmer has spoken on the difficulty of agricultural life and the challenges of filming his experience of bringing the Diddly Squat Farm Shop to life.

The heartache is extraordinary

Jeremy Clarkson

The famous motor star has admitted that farming has proved an unexpected challenge.

He shared: ”I’ve had the farm since 2008, but I haven’t really been involved with it at all.

 “A man in the village ran it, and then he retired, and I don’t know what it was, but I just thought, ‘I can do that’.

“I genuinely thought you put seeds in the ground, weather happens and then food grows. So I thought, ‘That’s not difficult’, but it’s phenomenally difficult and the heartache is extraordinary, plus it’s phenomenally badly paid. 

“So I thought, if I get someone to film me doing it, that will offset some of the losses,” he added to the BBC.

Of some of the seemingly endless challenges he encountered over the course of filming, Brexit has played a key role.

Opening up on difficulties he faced on the farm, Jeremy shared: “Weather, weather, weather, weather, Brexit, weather, Covid, weather, weather and sheep, I would say were the 10 big problems that we had.”

The star had attempted to grow durum wheat on his farm which only represents six per cent of wheat grown worldwide.

“I was going to be one of the first out of the blocks,” wrote Clarkson in his Sunday Times column. 

“I’d be the kid in Formula One who changes his tyres before anyone else. I’d be ahead. In the lead.”

Because of its relative unpopularity, durum seeds are not widely available in the UK, meaning that The Grand Tour host was forced to order them from a provider in the Rhône Valley in France.

It was then sent to the port of Calais, where it became entangled in Brexit red tape for three weeks, he said.

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One episode actually sees him hampered by tough EU regulations. 

When one of Jeremy’s fields fails to produce any oilseed rape due to black beetle foraging, he is visibly frustrated by the ban on neonicotinoids.

This is a chemical insecticide that would have killed them off.

“That’s £4,000 just gone because of the beetle, and the EU won’t let me kill the beetle,” he groaned.

The European Union banned many neonicotinoids as a result of their harmful ecological effects – particularly on bees. 

Jeremy Clarkson’s Farm is due to begin streaming from June 11.

The new series is the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host’s first solo TV venture for Amazon Prime Video, which he joined after leaving Top Gear in 2015. 

When he, Richard Hammond and James May signed with the streaming service later that year, each was given a deal for a solo TV format in addition to their contracted Grand Tour episodes.

As a result, James has launched a cookery programme, Richard has fronted a survivalist show, and now Jeremy is harvesting crops and attending sheep auctions.

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