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Vegetative Health Maps Reveal Crop Conditions

Vegetative Health Maps Reveal Crop Conditions

Satellite imagery provides clues to changing crop health before it shows up in USDA data.

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.


This graphics shows seasonal greening across much of the South, with modest vegetative growth in the central Plains. However, cool temperatures continue to limit fresh vegetative growth in northern areas of the country, while drought in the western Plains keeps growth limited. Adverse conditions in the lower Mississippi River Valley are also apparent.

Greenness in the South largely east of the Mississippi River reflects greenness from recent rains in that previously dry area. Drought has led to far less vegetative growth in the central and southern Plains than normal, which is confirmed by low condition scores for the regions wheat crop. Greenup has also been slow in the Upper Mississippi and the Upper Ohio River Valleys.

Considerable improvement in vegetative growth is evident as spring temperatures warm sufficiently to encourage growth. This is particularly apparent in the Flint Hills of Eastern Kansas and in the southern Midwest following a rainy period, while warming temperatures are greening up the Dakotas as well.

Most areas of the nation continue to see less vegetative growth than was seen the previous year. This is especially true in drought stricken areas of central and southern Plains, as well as in cool areas of the Upper Mississippi and Upper Ohio River Valleys.

This graphic shows the average vegetative health for this time of year.


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