Recently it has become obvious that agriculture must change drastically with decreasing crop harvests!
There are several reasons including soil loss, poor soil fertility, chemical damage, etc.
In some parts of the world farmers and gardeners are turning to a more natural way of growing crops - letting nature take control! In some countries it is called No Till as the soil is not dug but left to become naturally fertile.
Fertiliser is not needed if a leguminius cover crop is sown (in small holes) with the leaves spread on the surface to inhibit weed growth.
Here is the advice from FAO;
Reduced or zero tillage
Repetitive tillage degrades the soil structure and its potential to hold moisture, reduces the amount of organic matter in the soil, breaks up aggregates, and reduces the population of soil fauna such as earthworms that contribute to nutrient cycling and soil structure.
Avoiding mechanical soil disturbance implies growing crops without mechanical seedbed preparation or soil disturbance since the harvest of the previous crop. The term zero tillage is used for this practice synonymously with terms such as no-till farming, no tillage, direct drilling, and direct seeding.
Compared with conventional tillage, reduced or zero tillage has two advantages with respect to soil organic matter. Conventional tillage stimulates the heterotrophic microbiological activity through soil aeration, resulting in increased mineralization rate. Through breakdown of soil structure, it decreases upward and downward movements of soil fauna, such as earthworms, which are largely responsible for “humus” production through the ingestion of fresh residues. Reduced or zero tillage regulates heterotrophic microbiological activity because the pore atmosphere is richer in CO2/O2, and facilitates the activity of the “humifiers”