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 active vegetative growth on the West Coast and in many areas of the eastern half of the Lower 48. However, a lot of cropland soil continues to show through across many of the primary corn growing areas of the Midwest.
Rapid maturing of the winter wheat crop shows up as poorer vegetative health in the Southern Plains, relative to the long-term normal for mid-May, along with some crop stress in other areas of the Mid-South. However, vegetative growth is better than the 23-year average for this point in the season across scattered areas of the central and northern Plains, northwestern Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and New England.
Vegetative health improved over the past weeks in central and eastern Texas, western Tennessee, New England and the northern High Plains. However, dry conditions and a rapidly maturing wheat crop led to less vegetative growth in the southwestern Plains and southern Illinois.
Vegetative activity is more active than the previous year at this point in the season across the mountainous west, the Plains and much of the northern Midwest and New England. However, vegetative growth is less than the previous year’s level across much of the South, as well as portions of Illinois, western Indiana and northwestern Ohio.
This graphic shows the long-term average vegetative health for this time of year.