catch crop

catch crop, any quick-growing crop sown between seasons of regular planting to make use of temporary idleness of the soil or to compensate for the failure of a main crop. It may be such rapid-maturing vegetables as radishes, onions grown from sets, or spinach (planted between rows of slower growing crops) quick-growing crops such as rye, millet, or buckwheat or an annual legume, such as soybean, which is valuable as fodder or, when plowed under, increases the soil's fertility. See cover crop .

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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