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  4. »eUpdate 442 February 21st, 2014»Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: February 4 – 17

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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: February 4 – 17

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:

 

 

Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for February 4 – 17 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that snow was a feature across the entire state. Most of the snow cover had melted by the end of this two-week composite period.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for February 4 – 17 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows the Northeastern Division has the biggest decrease in NDVI readings. In this region, cold wet weather and persistent snow cover has limited vegetative activity this year.   

Figure 3. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for February 4 – 17 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows the Northeastern Division has the biggest departure from average. It is also the division where the average temperatures are showing the greatest departure from average. At the end of this two-week composite period, the average temperature was just 19.4 degrees F, or 11.5 degrees cooler than normal.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for February 4 – 17 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the snowy season has continued throughout the region. During this two-week composite period, the northwestern parts of the Corn Belt had more snow than earlier in the winter, with average snow depths approaching 7 inches.

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period February 4 – 17 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the biggest decrease in vegetative activity has been in the center of the region, from southeastern Iowa to northern Kentucky. Temperatures have had a big role in this departure. For example, in Illinois, at the end of January temperatures were averaging 6 degrees below normal. Last year, also at the end of January, temperatures were averaging 2 degrees above normal.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for February 4 – 17 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows cool wet weather continues to suppress vegetative activity. Temperatures are running from 12 to 6 degrees below normal this year. 

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for February 4 – 17 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that while the most recent snow didn’t penetrate quite as far south as earlier storms, it still made it as far as the northern parts of the Gulf Coast States. In the western areas, while the moisture was welcome, it had minimal impacts on the continuing drought.

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period February 4 – 17 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that biggest decrease in NDVI readings are in areas around the Ohio River Valley and along the California coast. In the east, cooler temperatures have limited photosynthetic activity. The continued drought is the major factor for decreased activity in the West. 

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 25-year average for the period February 4 – 17 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the biggest decreases are in the east and along the California coast. Cooler-than-average temperatures, coupled with persistent snow, have reduced vegetative activity in the East. Along the West Coast, continued drought has had a negative impact on vegetation. Even the areas with increased vegetative activity along the Pacific Northwest are negative, as it indicates lower-than-usual snow pack.

 

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