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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019

These photos show how incredibly different modern agriculture is to traditional farming

Stunning photography from the world’s fields and greenhouses.

The Third Day 4 Henrik Spohler Source: © Henrik Spohler

CUTTING-EDGE AGRICULTURE combines ancient techniques with innovations and extraordinary scale.

The result can often look like something from a science fiction movie.

German photographer Henrik Spohler recently documented agricultural methods including the genetic engineering of plants by scientists in Germany, “gigantic outdoor monocultures in the United States,” and farming “under glass and plastic in the Netherlands and Spain” to show “places where man has assumed the role of Creator”.

He shared some photos below, and you can see more at his website and in his book “The Third Day.”

The Third Day 35 Henrik SpohlerScientists grow and measure corn plants at a research facility in Germany.
The Third Day 28 Henrik SpohlerShiitake mushrooms grow on compressed sawdust blocks in Germany. They are designed to mimic dead logs. 
The Third Day 39 Henrik SpohlerAt facilities like this tomato greenhouse in Middenmeer, scientists have tamed Mother Nature to grow fresh produce any time of year.  
The Third Day 7 Henrik SpohlerInside the greenhouse, farmers grow rows upon rows of perfectly shaped tomatoes. Whether mass-produced fruit tastes good is another story.  
The Third Day 6 Henrik SpohlerUp close, you can see several tomato trusses (the fruit-bearing part of the plant) growing from a single plant.  
The Third Day 10 Henrik SpohlerThe dry, dusty climate in Andalusia, Spain, used to make it a poor place to farm. Then farmers began covering the landscape with greenhouses — and built a $2.8 billion agriculture industry.  
The Third Day 1 Henrik SpohlerFields in Paso Robles, California, may look like the surface of a desolate planet, but they're just fallow. Fields are left ploughed but unseeded to let them regain fertility for a later season.

The Third Day 46 Henrik Spohler

Irrigation channels in California transformed an area that used to be covered with dry steppe into one of the most important fruit and vegetable farming regions in North America.

The Third Day 2 Henrik Spohler Grape vines grow in semiarid King City, California.
The Third Day 55 Henrik SpohlerBefore planting, soil must be chemically treated to rid it of weeds in the seedbed that would compete with the crop for water and nutrients.
The Third Day 3 Henrik SpohlerThe soil is covered with plastic mulch to suppress weeds and conserve water. Plants grow through small slits in the sheeting. Plastic mulch has been praised for preventing rotting fruit, but disposal of the sheeting has become an environmental problem.
The Third Day 41 Henrik SpohlerHere, soil in California has been tilled and irrigated. Seedlings are beginning to grow.
The Third Day 4 Henrik Spohler At a vineyard in California, grapes are near the beginning of their growth cycle.
The Third Day 19 Henrik Spohler

Cacti grow in perfect uniformity in Borrego Springs, California.

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