Black seed penycress is a persistent weed that comes up year after year. However, modifying a gene in wild pennycress promises to transform the weed into a cash crop. The resulting golden pennycress features a thinner seed coat than wild pennycress, which allows it to germinate faster without taking over according to Win Phippen, professor of plant breeding and genetics at Western Illinois University.

CoverCress Inc. is commercializing the new crop under the name CoverCress. It has oil and feedstock qualities similar to those of canola. It fIt matures much earlier than canola. This gives farmers the option to plant a full-season crop after harvest.

CoverCress is designed as a cask crop that fits into a corn and soybean rotation. It claims to provide cover crop benefits and allows farmers to get more use out of their land.

Read more on the transition of pennycress from a weed to a cash crop here.