No tillage or minimum tillage
Conservation agriculture has three basic principles:
1. Disturb the soil as little as possible practising no-tillage or minimum tillage. The ideal is to plant direct into the soil, without hoeing or ploughing. Tillage is reduced to ripping planting lines or making holes for planting with a hoe.
2. Keep the soil covered as much as possible.
3. Mix and rotate crops.
To gain the full benefit of conservation agriculture, all three principles have to be applied at the same time. This ideal is not possible everywhere, but farmers should try to go into that direction as far as possible.