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September 10, 2012


Harvest is a time of plenty, when the season's hard work is rewarded by bounty. Many of the rhythms of our lives are shaped by the gathering of crops, even if most of us now live in cities. Worldwide, festivals and rituals mark the passage from growing season to harvest, with indigenous and popular practices making fall in the Northern Hemisphere a festive time. This year sees a reduced harvest in much of the world as extreme weather decimated many regions. Half of the United States is in prolonged drought, as well as much of Europe. In India, the monsoon is 20 percent off the annual average. Food prices are expected to rise by 2013 as demand taxes supplies, and later the price rises will transfer to the meat industry as costs of feed for livestock are passed on. Gathered here are images of farms industrial and traditional, crops critical and obscure, and harvest festivals among drought and bounty. -- Lane Turner (41 photos total)

A rainbow shines in the background of a sun-bathed wheat field east of Walla Walla, Wash. on July 16, 2012. High temperatures near 100 degrees have turned fields to gold as harvest draws near. (Jeff Horner/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin/Associated Press)

Swiss farmer Kari Gisler carries a bundle of hay during wild haying on the mountain Rophaien in Flueelen, Switzerland on August 20, 2012. The tradition of wild haying in Central Switzerland dates back around two hundred years on steep hillsides which cannot be reached with animals. (Michael Buholzer/Reuters) #

Workers harvest wild blueberries at the Ridgeberry Farm in Appleton, Maine on July 27, 2012. Maine is America's top wild blueberry state. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press) #

Felix Munk, head of the beekeeper organization Stadtimker, holds a honeycomb with bees in Vienna on July 11, 2012. Stadtimker is one of a growing number of urban beekeepers' associations who are trying to encourage bees to make their homes in cities as pesticides and crop monocultures make the countryside increasingly hostile. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters) #

Workers collect white grapes in the vineyards of the famed Chateau Haut Brion, a Premier Grand Cru des Graves, during the grape harvest in Pessac-Leognan, near Bordeaux, France on September 4, 2012. (Bob Edme/Associated Press) #

A seasonal worker from Poland picks apples on July 31, 2012 at the Obsthof Herzberg farm in Frankfurt/Oder, Germany, near the Polish border. (Patrick Pleul/AFP/GettyImages) #

Farmers weed fields in Satnapur Village, India on June 28, 2012. Indians living in rural areas on average eat 2,020 calories a day, against a global average of 2,800 and 11 percent less than they did in 1973, according to government and United Nations' data. (Sanjit Das/Bloomberg) #

Cocoa farmers work at Sekyere, Ghana on July 25, 2012. (Yaw Bibini/Reuters) #

Migrant workers harvest watermelon from an irrigated farm field in a drought-stricken region of Indiana on July 18, 2012 near Vincennes, Indiana. Indiana, part of the corn and soybean belt in the middle of the nation, is experiencing one of the worst droughts in more than five decades. Indiana is one of the nation's largest producers of watermelon. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

Peul herdsmen stand by their cows in the green sandy plains near Bermo, Niger on July 16, 2012. When the first rains come, they head north toward the Sahara desert, where the grass is said to be saltier, packed with minerals. They time their movements according to the clouds, waiting for the second major downpour, before making a U-turn to head back to the greener south. If they miscalculate, they can end up stranded. As the grass turns yellow, their animals become too weak to walk. (Jerome Delay/Associated Press) #

Women sing as they celebrate the first day of the harvest festival in the village of Hrgovi, Bosnia on July 14, 2012. (Amel Emric/Associated Press) #

A farmer ties red chilies before hanging them to dry in Khokana, Nepal on August 11, 2012. (Niranjan Shrestha/Associated Press) #

A spiritual guide known as an "Amauta," pauses during a ceremony in honor of the "Pachamama," or Mother Earth, on El Cumbre mountain on the outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia on August 30, 2012. According to local agrarian tradition, Mother Earth awakens hungry and thirsty in August and needs offerings of food and drink in order for her to be fertile and yield abundant crops. (Juan Karita/Associated Press) #

People walk inside a cave during traditional annual prayers for rain, at the Djevojacka cave, near Kladanj, Bosnia on August 26, 20012. (Amel Emric/Associated Press) #

Villagers stand on a crater of Mount Bromo as they wait for sunrise during the annual Kasada festival in Indonesia's East Java province August 4, 2012. Villagers and worshippers throw offerings such as livestock and other crops into the volcanic crater of Mount Bromo to give thanks to the Hindu gods for ensuring their safety and prosperity. (Sigit Pamungkas/Reuters) #

Men compete during a buffalo race in Jembrana, Bali on August 12, 2012. More than three hundred of buffalos participated in the "Mekepung" (buffalo race), a thanksgiving ritual after a successful harvest. (Firdia Lisnawati/Associated Press) #

A farmer joins a traditional bull race in the southern Bavarian village of Muensing near Lake Starnberg on August 26, 2012. (Michael Dalder/Reuters) #

Dancers in body paint wait to take part in a performance at the start of the annual harvest festival of "Onam" in Kochi, India on August 21, 2012. (Sivaram V/Reuters) #

Candidates for the Miss Water Lily pageant pose in their gowns, made from dried water lily stalks, during the Water Lily Festival in Las Pinas city, Philippines on July 19, 2012. Residents harvest water hyacinths and dry the stalks, which become raw material for producing baskets, trays, slippers and other functional and ornamental items. (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters) #

Pigs race at an exhibit on August 26, 2012 at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island, Nebraska. With Nebraska still in a state of severe drought and farmers in dire straights, thousands of people visited the fairgrounds to celebrate the state's rich agricultural and rural traditions. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

An employee works on the production line at the Daehan Flour Mills Co. plant in Incheon, South Korea, on August 29, 2012. South Korea is Asia's second-biggest grain importer. (SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg) #

A scientist prepares to scan roots for a gene at a lab at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Philippines on August 30, 2012. A team of scientists from the IRRI say they have discovered a gene which increases grain production by 20 percent, which will help poor rice farmers grow more rice. (Cheryl Ravelo/Reuters) #

6th generation farmers Jud Vaught (left) and his brother Bill Kirklin connect an irrigation system in their cornfield on July 20, 2012 near Whiteland, Indiana on a farm founded by their family in 1835. The corn and soybean belt in the middle of the nation is experiencing one of the worst droughts in more than five decades. Indiana was the nation's fourth largest corn producer in 2011. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

Darren Becker sifts through arid topsoil under a ruined crop on the family farm on August 24, 2012 in Logan, Kansas. Like many Kansas farmers who's profits have been wiped out by the record drought, the Beckers are working hard to hang on to their farm, which has been in their family for five generations. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Corn damaged by severe drought rots on a farm near Bruceville, Indiana on August 16, 2012. (Saul Loeb/AFP/GettyImages) #

A man runs from fire near of Kalamoti, Greece on August 19, 2012. Scores of mastic orchards on the Greek island of Chios were destroyed in a forest fire. (Icon/AFP/GettyImages) #

A farmer walks through a dry paddy field on the outskirts of Jammu, India on July 24, 2012. Rains have fallen at least 22 percent below the national average. (Channi Anand/Associated Press) #

A combine harvests corn in a field near Coy, Ark. on August 16, 2012. (Danny Johnston/Associated Press) #

A tractor harvests hay on a field near Hildesheim, Germany on August 18, 2012. (Nigel Treblin/dapd/Associated Press #

A combine cuts rice in a field near Tucker, Ark. on August 16, 2012. Arkansas rice farmers planted 1.135 million acres in 2012, 59 percent of the nation's rice crop this year. (Danny Johnston/Associated Press) #

A farmer walks past rice paddy fields at Khokana, Nepal on August 19, 2012. (Prakash Mathema/AFP/GettyImages) #

A farmer walks through a paddy field to his home in the village of Khokana, Nepal on September 4, 2012. (Prakash Mathema/AFP/GettyImages) #

Farmers wait for customers as they gather alongside corn-laden trucks at the market in Lahore on September 3, 2012. (Arif ALIArif Ali/AFP/GettyImages) #

Vendors wash their vegetables in a river at La Visite National Park, Haiti, preparing them for sale at a street market in Port-au-Prince on August 16, 2012. (Dieu Nalio Chery/Associated Press) #

A worker repairs a tractor for farmer Aye Thant in Kyaiklat, Myanmar on May 24, 2012. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

A stork walks across a field as a combine harvests grain outside of Vilnius, Lithuania on July 27, 2012. Lithuanian farmers expect a better than average crop this year. (Petras Malukas/AFP/GettyImages)#

A worker harvest hops in Rocov, Czech Republic on August 30, 2012. Their hops are highly sought after by beer brewers and are exported to about 80 countries, but drought has reduced the yield by 25 percent. (Petr David Josek/Associated Press)#

Winter wheat is loaded from a combine harvester on August 12, 2012 in Hanover-Wuelferode, Germany. (Julian Stratenschulte/AFP/GettyImages)#

Workers use a front-loader to move wheat grain into a truck at a storage depot in Krasnodar, Russia on July 13, 2012. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg News)#

Cereals fall from a transportation wagon as an employee opens the storage hatches on a rail unit in Val de la Haye, France on June 23, 2012. (Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg News)#

Wheat grain is poured into a truck on a farm in Great Wilbraham, United Kingdom on July 18, 2012. (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)#