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  4. »eUpdate 437 January 17th, 2014»Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: December 31 - January 13

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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: December 31 - January 13

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 25-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 Kevin Price at kpprice@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, service climatologist:

KAN_02_2014_CNDVI

Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for December 31 – January 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that snow was a factor statewide. For much of the state, however, the snow pack was primarily a feature at the beginning of this two-week composite period. By January 13 most of the snow had melted.

 

KAN_02_2014_PYNDVI

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for December 31 – January 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there are higher NDVI values in parts of northwest and north central Kansas. This is mainly due to lower snow totals this year in these regions. For example, Phillipsburg in Phillips County had 5.0 inches of snow in the first 13 days of 2013. This year, the snow total for the period is only 1.2 inches. The decreased biomass productivity corresponds to areas with heavier snowfall this year. 

KAN_02_2014_LTNDVI

Figure 3. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for December 31 – January 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the state has close-to-average biomass productivity. The area of below-average production corresponds to areas with lingering snow cover. This area is much reduced from last week.

CRN_02_2014_CNDVI

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for December 31 – January 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the entire region had snow during the period. Amounts varied, with heaviest totals in the northern and eastern portions of the Corn Belt.

CRN_02_2014_PYNDVI

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period December 31 – January 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there is a contrast between higher and lower NDVI values in the center of the region. Areas with higher NDVI values this year match areas with lower snowfall totals. Those areas with lower NDVI values have much higher snowfall totals this year. For example, Phillipsburg in north central Kansas, which is in the middle of the highest NDVI values, had 5 inches of snow last year during this period and just more than an inch this year. In contrast, Lansing, IL, in the center of the lowest NDVI values, had just 0.2 inches of snow last year during this period, but 14.7 inches in the same period this year.

CRN_02_2014_LTNDVI

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for December 31 – January 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there is a region of below-average biomass activity across the center of the region. The major exception is northwestern Iowa. Areas with below-average NDVI values have had more persistent snow cover.

 

 US_02_2014_CNDVI

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for December 31 – January 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that snow penetrated as far south as northern Oklahoma and Arkansas. Very little snow occurred in the coastal mountains of the Pacific Northwest and northern California.

 

US_02_2014_PYNDVI

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period December 31 – January 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there is a distinct splice line in the eastern U.S. Greater vegetative activity is seen along the East and in the Pacific Northwest. In the Northwest, the continued high NDVI values are indicative of the low snow pack in the region. 

US_02_2014_LTNDVI

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 25-year average for the period December 31 – January 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the major feature is the much-greater-than-average biomass activity in the Pacific Northwest. The persistent lack of snow in this area has continued to heighten drought concerns in the West. Much of the annual water supply for the West Coast is dependent on winter snow.

Mary Knapp, Agronomy, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu          

Kevin Price, Agronomy and Geography, Remote Sensing, Natural Resources, GIS
kpprice@ksu.edu

Nan An, Graduate Research Assistant, Ecology & Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory (EASAL)
nanan@ksu.edu