ISS026-E-25373

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Spacecraft nadir point: 17.5° S, 46.4° W

Photo center point: 19.4° S, 47.4° W

Nadir to Photo Center: Southwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 192 nautical miles (356km)
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Image Caption: Agricultural Fields near Perdizes, Minas Gerais, Brazil

This detailed astronaut photograph illustrates diverse agricultural landscape patterns in the western part of the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais. Perhaps most widely known for its mineral wealth, Minas Gerais is also a large agricultural producer in Brazil. The fields in the image are located to the southwest of the city of Perdizes, which means "partridges" in Portuguese. A mix of regularly-gridded polygonal fields, and circular center-pivot fields, marks the human land use of the region. Small tributary streams (and their adjacent floodplains) of the Araguari River extend like fingers throughout the agricultural landscape.

The visual diversity of field forms is matched by the variety of crops produced here: sunflowers, wheat, potatoes, coffee, rice, soybeans, and corn are among the agricultural products of the region. While the Northern Hemisphere is still in the grip of winter, crops are growing in the Southern Hemisphere as indicated by the many green fields in the image. Fallow fields--fields not in active agricultural use--display the violet, reddish to light tan soils common to this part of Brazil. The darker soils are often rich in iron and aluminum oxides, and are typical of highly weathered soil material that forms in hot, humid climates.