In 2007 soil Phosphorus indices of 4+ on his mixed Herefordshire farm, left Stephen questioning if the circular economy of intensive agriculture was too much of a good thing. He resolved to study for the NTS certificate in Sustainable agriculture in Queensland as part of his 2011 Nuffield scholarship and organised for the course to be run in the UK in 2014. It’s been a bumpy ride since, gaining tacit knowledge of regenerative success’s and failures whilst trying to extensify farming operations and maintain economic sanity.
Rectifying Phosphorus levels in his soil and crops has been at the centre of Stephen’s thinking and he hopes that sharing his “phosphorus story” might shape farming practices to help resolve the crisis of pollution in the River Wye catchment. Baling poultry litter to create a soil improver and transport it away from the problem areas is another project that he has initiated.