Definition: Cover crop
Arable land on which plants are sown specifically to reduce the loss of soil, nutrients and plant protection products during the winter or other periods when the land would otherwise be bare and susceptible to losses. The economic interest of these crops is low, and the main goal is soil and nutrient protection.
Normally they are ploughed in during spring before sowing another crop, and are not harvested or used for grazing.
European Union, Commission Regulation (EC) No 1200/2009 of 30 November 2009 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1166/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on farm structure surveys and the survey on agricultural production methods, as regards livestock unit coefficients and definitions of the characteristics