Of all people, Jeremy Clarkson is providing an insight into the future of NZ farming. It is not pretty.
The UK star of motoring shows Top Gear and The Grand Tour, has a new television show on Amazon Prime, Clarkson’s Farm, in which this complete agricultural novice runs a 400ha arable and livestock farm in the Cotswolds.
Typically, there is much humour, but Clarkson reals at the endless rules, regulations and faceless bureaucrats that we have long mocked UK farming for, but there are comparisons with the direction NZ is taking.
In one incident a host of scientists are called on to conduct a study of natural flora and fauna before Clarkson is allowed to restore a modified wetland.
The area is littered with red flags denoting significant natural areas (you may have heard of them).
Later, his farm consultant berates him for disturbing large areas of topsoil with tractors and diggers as he works on the restoration project, warning that inspectors could see and take legal action.
Similarities with intensive winter grazing rules?
When filling out his mountain of paperwork to qualify for subsidies his consultant warns they have to be accurate because the Government monitors his land by satellite.
Similarities to the Government’s intensive winter grazing rules?
Despite this, the programme is a great advertisement for farming and the pressures both man-made and natural that they face to produce food.
After his first year his net profit from his cropping operation was 40p a day. Despite that, he proclaims that he has never been happier.
Google ‘Clarkson’s Farm’ and have a laugh.