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Fast-growing crop, such as rye, buckwheat, cowpea, or vetch, planted to prevent soil erosion, increase nutrients in the soil, and provide organic matter. Cover crops are grown either in the season during which cash crops are not grown or between the rows of some crops (e.g., fruit trees). See alsogreen manure.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cover crop, visit Britannica.com.