Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: November 22 - 28
The weekly Vegetation Condition Report maps below can be a valuable tool for making crop selection and marketing decisions.
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 27-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.
The Vegetation Condition Report (VCR) maps were originally developed by Dr. Kevin Price, K-State professor emeritus of agronomy and geography. His pioneering work in this area is gratefully acknowledged.
The maps have recently been revised, using newer technology and enhanced sources of data. Dr. Nan An, Imaging Scientist, collaborated with Dr. Antonio Ray Asebedo, assistant professor and lab director of the Precision Agriculture Lab in the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University, on the new VCR development. Multiple improvements have been made, such as new image processing algorithms with new remotely sensed data from EROS Data Center.
These improvements increase sensitivity for capturing more variability in plant biomass and photosynthetic capacity. However, the same format as the previous versions of the VCR maps was retained, thus allowing the transition to be as seamless as possible for the end user. For this spring, it was decided not to incorporate the snow cover data, which had been used in past years. However, this feature will be added back at a later date. In addition, production of the Corn Belt maps has been stopped, as the continental U.S. maps will provide the same data for these areas. Dr. Asebedo and Dr. An will continue development and improvement of the VCRs and other advanced maps.
The maps in this issue of the newsletter show the current state of photosynthetic activity in Kansas, and the continental U.S., with comments from Mary Knapp, assistant state climatologist:
Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for November 22 – November 28, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows only light photosynthetic activity mainly in south central Kansas. All parts of the state have now had the first frost of the season.
Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for November 22 – November 28, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows a band of higher NDVI values across parts of northwest Kansas. This area has had more precipitation than last year. Expanding drought conditions and the slow establishment of winter wheat in the Southwest into the South Central Divisions is visible as reduced NDVI values there.
Figure 3. Compared to the 27-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for November 22 – November 28, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows much of the state has close-to-average vegetative activity. Cold weather has finally arrived and vegetative activity has slowed.
Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S for November 22 – November 28, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows an area of high NDVI values along the Pacific Northwest where wet conditions continue to fuel photosynthetic activity. In the Southeast mild temperatures have extended the growing season, creating problems as drought intensifies in the area. Low NDVI values are visible in the Corn Belt and along the Mississippi River Valley, where crops are mostly mature, and harvest is ending.
Figure 5. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for November 22 – November 28, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows higher NDVI values in the Pacific Northwest. Rainfall has been much more plentiful this year, and snowfall has been limited. Along the Gulf Coast, clouds have been more prevalent than last year. In the Southeast, the worsening drought conditions are visible, particularly in northern Georgia.
Figure 6. The U.S. comparison to the 27-year average for the period November 22 – November 28, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows below-average photosynthetic activity along the Gulf Coast. Warm temperatures and lack of rains are issues in this area. The South continues to have persistent drought conditions. There are much higher-than-normal NDVI values across the Northern Plains. This is due to persistent warmer-than-normal temperatures and lack of snow cover during this period. North Dakota is set to have one of the warmest Novembers on record.
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
Ray Asebedo, Precision Agriculture
Nan An, Imaging Scientist