In this piece, the writer follows a farmer practicing no-till farming for a year, instead planting a cover crop of fodder radishes. No–till farming (also called zero tillage or direct drilling) is a way of growing crops or pasture from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage. The idea is to protect the soil, allow it to soak up more water, and replenish the nutrients, thus boosting soil health.
Does it work? In this story the yields were comparable to conventional farming using ploughing and the farmer was hoping to recoup the big upfront cost of buying the machinery which would allow him to sow seeds directly into the cover crop in future years from lower input costs, and the benefit of good harvests from the richer soil. Good development for a sustainable future!