Farm Futures has partnered with the Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory (EASAL) at Kansas State University to bring these maps to you. Each map is composed from satellite data taken over a two-week period. The EASAL maps show current vegetative health for the past two weeks and compare vegetative health with the previous two-week period, with the previous year and with the long-term average. Green reflects healthy vegetative development, while brown reflects a lack of healthy vegetative biomass production.
Satellite imagery shows the most active vegetative growth is taking place in the heart of the Midwest as corn and soybean growth peaks. However, greenness is beginning to ease in eastern areas of the Midwest corn and soybean belt as crops mature, with the vegetative growth also slowing seasonally in the western Plains. Very little vegetative growth is seen in ongoing drought areas of the Plains from central Kansas south to the Gulf Coast.
The late maturity of this year's crops in the Northern Plains and northwestern Midwest shows up quite well on the latest satellite imagery, with greater greenness than normal in the region. Better than normal vegetative health can also be seen in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. However, dryness is beginning to take its toll on crop health in the eastern Midwest, with lingering drought impact in the Southern Plains still quite visible.
This graphic shows sharp deterioration in crop health in the eastern Midwest over the past couple of weeks due to ongoing dryness in the region as crops try to mature.
Crop health remains poorer than year ago levels due to drought in the Southern Plains. However, crop health is now also weaker than year ago levels in the southeastern Midwest as the affects of a warm dry weather pattern begin to take their toll. Crop health is better than year-ago levels in the Northern Plains, as well as in much of Iowa and northern Illinois.
This graphic shows the long-term average vegetative health for this time of year.