The additional aims of soil protection are to maintain plant species diversity in cane and bush fruit plantations, to minimise the use of herbicides without detriment to yield with minimum inputs of fertilisers and irrigation water.
Overall, bare soil management of fruit plantations throughout the year is not permitted. In arid areas, bare soil management is permitted in spring and summer to avoid competition for water and nutrients.
Herbicides may only be used to supplement mechanical and physical weed control methods. They must not be used to achieve overall bare soil.
IP guidelines must specify a maximum width for the weed free strip and/or percentage of the soil surface, which may be weed-free. The procedures for practical implementation must be defined in the IP guidelines according to climate, soil type, cultivars and precipitation.