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 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.
Crop health is significantly below the long-term average as dryness takes hold in the Eastern Midwest and in the Southern Plains. Crop health appears better than normal in northwest Ohio, northern Illinois and much of the northwestern Midwest.
Crops deteriorated in the Northern Plains over the past couple of weeks, as revealed by satellite imagery. A broad area of deterioration can also be seen in the eastern Midwest, with the exception of some improvement in southeast Indiana, west-central Ohio and western Kentucky.
The latest satellite imagery is from before the September 15 frost event in the northwestern Midwest. As such, it shows better crop health than the previous year in scattered areas of the Northern Plains, Iowa, northern Illinois, east central Indiana and west central Ohio. The record drought in the Southern Plains continues to show poorer vegetative health then the previous year, with poorer conditions also seen in areas of the eastern Midwest.
This graphic shows the long-term average vegetative health for this time of year.