Time span: (unknown)
Aim: The project's key aim is to help reduce the extreme soil losses which are occurring under conventional soil management, using practical techniques which are compatible with the cropping systems.
Description: ProTerra is a collaborative research project between academic institutions, NGO's and Industry, which has been designed to test agronomic approaches for soil and water conservation in Mediterranean perennial cropping systems (e.g. olives and vines). Generally, the approaches tested are based on the use of non-selective herbicides (e.g. glyphosate and paraquat) to manage vegetative soil cover between crop rows; the vegetative cover consisting of either deliberately sown vegetation or naturally occurring weeds. These cover crops protect and strengthen the soil, increasing their ability to resist soil erosion and absorb water. The outcomes of the approaches taken are compared with local conventional practice, which most commonly consists of soil tillage used to maintain weed free inter-rows, this tillage being the major reason for increased soil erosion risk. The approaches are compared in terms of soil erosion, water run-off and the economic consequences.
Countries: Field trials in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, collaboration with research institutions in France, Great Britain, Italy, Portugal and Spain
Website: (link expired)


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The DESIRE project was 
co-funded by the
European Commission,
Global Change and
Contract no: 037046 GOCE

DESIRE brought together the expertise of
26 international research institutes
and non-governmental organisations.

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