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, while areas of concern can still be found across the South. The most obvious area of poor crop development remains in the Southern Plains, which remains in the grip of severe drought.
Crop health is better than average in the Northern Plains and scattered areas of the Midwest and Southeast, according to the latest satellite imagery. However, crop health is much poorer than normal from central Kansas south to the Gulf Coast due to intense drought. Scattered areas of poorer than normal vegetative health can also be seen intermingled across much of the eastern half of the country.
Recent rains provided for significant improvement in vegetative health in much of the Southeast in recent weeks, as well as more isolated areas of the central Plains and Midwest. However, excessive moisture encouraged disease development in wheat of the Northern Plains and southern Canadian Prairies. That combined with the seasonal maturity of the crop to reflect overall deteriorating crop health in that region.
Increased disease in the cereal grains in the Northern Plains now has crop health below year ago levels in that region, stretching northwestward into the Canadian Prairies. Intense drought in the Southern Plains continues to expand, with dryness also expanding in the Midwest resulting in crop health that is now below year ago levels.
This graphic shows the average vegetative health for this time of year.