Last decade has been dry and hot in Portugal, especially in the south, Alentejo and Algarve, compromising agriculture and livestock productions and even the supply of drinking water to the population. At this time of the year, May, the fields are yellow, the plants are dry, and the animals in the herds do not have enough green pasture and have to be fed on straw and silage. Moreover, the price of straw and hay to feed the animals has been increasing in the last years, calling into question the economic viability of livestock production in the Alentejo and Algarve. This panorama led many farmers to plant cereals and other grasses – such as ray grass – to produce straw and silage on unused land.
When I visited the Alentejo last April, I was surprised to see that many lands were dedicated precisely to the production of straw and hay. To avoid straw deterioration, bales are wrapped in a white plastic cover. In this field, my attention was drawn to the distribution of the bales, sometimes in a geometric layout, sometimes seemingly at random. The white of the plastic contrasted with the golden yellow of the stubble and the blue of the sky. The image was captured with a Hasselblad X1D-50c in crop mode.
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