cover crop


: a crop planted to prevent soil erosion and to provide humus

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Also, planting a cover crop in leaves, manure and compost does not give the plants anything to grow roots into. oregonlive, 4 Feb. 2023 When the cover crop decomposes, some of the nitrogen becomes available to other plants. oregonlive, 16 Aug. 2021 Then after that will add more leaf mulch, fungi and a final green cover crop in the fall. oregonlive, 4 Feb. 2023 California and other jurisdictions are planning more sophisticated carbon accounting, but not fast enough for oilseed cover crop developers. Peter Fairley, Scientific American, 13 Dec. 2022 Farmers around the world plant red clover in their fields, using it as a cover crop to help improve soil health and as food for livestock. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 July 2022 Such techniques might include adding a cover crop of clover or cereals to a field or tilling in ways that disturb the soil less. Globe Staff,, 12 July 2022 Regenerative farming techniques, such as planting a cover crop during the fall, allows that process to continue throughout the winter months when the soil would normally be bare. New York Times, 9 July 2022 Such avoidance in soil disturbance and cover crop practices are ideal in combating climate change, explains Jones. Michelle Williams, Forbes, 16 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cover crop.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cover crop was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near cover crop

Cite this Entry

“Cover crop.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

cover crop

: a crop planted to prevent soil erosion and to provide humus

More from Merriam-Webster on cover crop

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love It or Hate It

  • heart-fire
  • When asked about her blind date, Carol spoke for hours with vitriol.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?