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  4. »eUpdate 528 September 11th, 2015»Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: August 25 - September 7

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Department of Agronomy

Kansas State University

1712 Claflin Rd.

2004 Throckmorton PSC

Manhatan, KS 66506

785-532-6101

agronomy@ksu.edu

Extension Agronomy

Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: August 25 - September 7

K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory (EASAL) produces weekly Vegetation Condition Report maps. These maps can be a valuable tool for making crop selection and marketing decisions.

Two short videos of Dr. Kevin Price explaining the development of these maps can be viewed on YouTube at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRP3Y5NIggw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUdOK94efxc

The objective of these reports is to provide users with a means of assessing the relative condition of crops and grassland. The maps can be used to assess current plant growth rates, as well as comparisons to the previous year and relative to the 26-year average. The report is used by individual farmers and ranchers, the commodities market, and political leaders for assessing factors such as production potential and drought impact across their state.

NOTE TO READERS: The maps below represent a subset of the maps available from the EASAL group. If you’d like digital copies of the entire map series please contact Nan An at nanan@ksu.edu and we can place you on our email list to receive the entire dataset each week as they are produced. The maps are normally first available on Wednesday of each week, unless there is a delay in the posting of the data by EROS Data Center where we obtain the raw data used to make the maps. These maps are provided for free as a service of the Department of Agronomy and K-State Research and Extension.

The maps in this issue of the newsletter show the current state of photosynthetic activity in Kansas, the Corn Belt, and the continental U.S., with comments from Mary Knapp, assistant state climatologist:

 

 

Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for August 25 – September 7 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the highest biomass production is, as typical, in eastern Kansas.  There is an area of increased photosynthetic activity in southwest Kansas, where rainfall continues to be higher than average. The highest NDVI values continue to be in Brown and Doniphan counties along the Missouri River Valley. Favorable soil moisture and moderate temperatures resulted in increased biomass production in these areas. Lower NDVI values are visible in Trego, Ellis, Rush, and Ness counties, where warmer temperatures have prevailed in the last two weeks.

 

 

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for August 25 – September 7 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows parts of central and south central Kansas have lower photosynthetic activity. These areas continue to miss out on the storm systems and abnormally dry conditions persist. In contrast, the East Central Division has seen more favorable conditions this year. Moderate temperatures and favorable moisture have resulted in higher photosynthetic activity.

Figure 3. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for August 25 – September 7 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the state has at or above-average photosynthetic activity. Much-below-average photosynthetic activity is concentrated in Ellis and Ness counties. These areas continue to miss most of the storm systems and remain in abnormally dry conditions.

 

 

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for August 25 – September 7 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the greatest level of photosynthetic activity is concentrated from Iowa and southern Minnesota into Illinois. Favorable moisture conditions have resulted in high photosynthetic activity. In Iowa, corn conditions have dropped to 79 percent good to excellent with reports of some disease pressure.

 

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period for August 25 – September 7 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows lower photosynthetic activity along the western and eastern portions of the region. The greatest decrease is in Michigan. Despite recent cool weather, both corn and soybean development is ahead of last year.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for August 25 – September 7 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows most of the region has average biomass production. Eastern Wisconsin and western Michigan stand out with lower NDVI values, although crop conditions are rated favorably.  Crop development is ahead of average in these regions.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S for August 25 – September 7 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the highest photosynthetic activity is centered in the Upper Midwest. Lower NDVI values are noticeable in the Southeastern U.S., particularly in Georgia and South Carolina and the tip of Florida, where drought conditions continue to intensify. Rains from the recent tropical systems were less productive than anticipated. Low NDVI values are also notable along the western Cascade Mountains in Oregon, where drought and wildfires continue to affect vegetation.

 

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period August 25 – September 7 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that lower NDVI values are most evident from the Great Lakes down along the East Coast. In the West Coast region, lower NDVI values are visible in Northern California into northern Idaho and western Montana. Decreased photosynthetic activity is also evident in western Montana, as extreme drought expands in the area.

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 26-year average for the period August 25 – September 7 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the West continues to have lower-than-normal photosynthetic activity, while the greatest increase in NDVI values is in Mississippi and Alabama. There is also an area of below-average NDVI values along the lower Great Lakes to Upstate New York into New England. This marks an area of expanding moisture stress.