Farm Crop Differences Show Up in Satellite Imagery
Advanced progress of this year’s farm crops can be seen in satellite vegetative health pictures. Heat and dryness are beginning to take their toll.
Published: Jun 8, 2012
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, and the detail offers a high-level look at weather impact on corn, soybean and wheat crops.
Satellite imagery shows active vegetative growth on the West Coast and in many areas of the eastern half of the Lower 48 states. However, a lot of cropland soil continues to show through across many of the primary corn growing areas of the Midwest at this early point in the growing season.
Rapid maturing of the winter wheat crop and dryness continues to inhibit photosynthetic activity in the southern Plains relative to normal for this time of year. Early planted corn continues to reflect active vegetative activity relative to the 23-year average in central Illinois. Extended dryness is beginning to drag down crop health in other scattered parts of the major corn and soybean growing areas.
Improved vegetative activity is seen in the Mid-Atlantic relative to late May, along with scattered areas of Illinois and the Northern Plains. However, dryness and the advanced maturity of the wheat crop continue to reduce the satellite’s view of crop health in the central and Southern Plains.
Heat and dryness are taking their toll in the Southern Plains and southwestern Corn Belt, resulting in reduced crop health in the region relative to the previous year at this time. On the other hand, the advanced maturity of the corn crop shows up as increased vegetative growth in portions of Illinois and Indiana relative to the previous year, with a much improved spring wheat crop doing the same in the Northern Plains.
This graphic shows the long-term average vegetative health for this time of year.
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Tagged: winter wheat, Corn Belt