By mid-summer, crops are maturing and dominating much of the landscape around the valley, except for all the woodlots and slopes too steep for farming. Corn, wheat, soybeans and barley are our main crops here by acreage, along with hay, and all of them are looking good this year. A huge part of what you see in mid-summer is fields of these crops.
More and more acres have been planted to corn around here the past 2-3 years, as the price has risen, so we see lots of fields like this.
Someone also asked me recently what is the difference between hay and straw. Hay is usually a mixture of grasses (and sometimes plants like clover or alfalfa), that is harvested whole, by being baled - usually into large round bales here. It's used for animal feed, and still contains all the seeds of the plants, which are actually what provides the protein for the animals that eat it.
Straw is the leftover stalks of the wheat and barley plants when the grain has been removed by the combine, so it's baled (often in large rectangular bales, but in large round bales in the first picture above) separately, and has no seeds in it. It's usually used for bedding for livestock, and only as a last resort for feed, if not being just left on the field. A lot is shipped to horse farms which usually don't grow crops like wheat, but do need the straw for bedding.
And if you're buying some for mulch, you definitely want straw, not hay!
A 'combine' by the way, in a large bit of farm machinery that 'combines' the operation of cutting these crops and separating the grain from the leftover straw.