Cultivating the soil is not always beneficia. It may destroy the structure of some soils by shattering the the soil crumbs. Yet some other soils will not support plant growth unless they are cultivated.
When cultivating avoid working with very dry or wet soil. Digging, rotary hoeing or even walking on wet soil is likely to damage the soil structure and result in compaction.
Cultivation aerates the surface layers. More air causes an increase in microbial activity and thus an increase in organic matter breakdown. Therefore, if fairly large amounts of organic matter are present, cultivation will improve soil structure, and the amount of nitrogen available.
However, the supply of nutrients available to plants will be decreased if the soil is constantly cultivated without the replacement of prganic matter or fertiliser.