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  4. »eUpdate 478 October 10th, 2014»Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: September 23 - October 6

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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: September 23 - October 6

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 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, service climatologist:

 

Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for September 23 – October 6 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the highest NDVI values continue to be in the eastern third of the state. The values are highest in the Leavenworth County area. This area of the state continued to have adequate moisture and missed the recent freezing temperatures.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for September 23 – October 6 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that parts of central and western Kansas have lower biomass production. This is particularly evident in Comanche County, where severe drought continues.

Figure 3. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for September 23 – October 6 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows much of the state is close to the average. The exception is an area from Pawnee to Edwards and Clark counties.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for September 23 – October 6 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that reduced biomass productivity is most noticeable in the northern and western areas of the region. Southern Minnesota and northern Iowa also have low NDVI values. In northern Iowa, 90 percent of the soybeans have dropped leaves.

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period September 23 – October 6 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that while there are pockets of higher biomass production, most areas are at the same or lower levels of activity. The largest area of increased biomass production is in southern Illinois and Indiana. Last year, much of that area was in moderate to severe drought, while this year the area is largely drought-free.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for September 23 – October 6 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that Illinois and Indiana have the greatest increase in biomass production. In Illinois, harvest was delayed by heavy rains, but pastures are rated 68 percent good to excellent.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for September 23 – October 6 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that as the growing season comes to an end, the highest photosynthetic activity is in the Appalachians in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. Significant photosynthetic activity is also visible in the desert Southwest, where continued moisture from a series of tropical systems has enhanced vegetative activity.

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period September 23 – October 6 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that two areas have significantly higher photosynthetic activity. The largest is the area from northern Washington to Idaho, Montana, and northwestern Wyoming. The second area is in the Texas Panhandle. Moisture has been much more favorable this year in these regions.

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 25-year average for the period September 23 – October 6 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that much of the U.S. has at or above average photosynthetic activity. The most concentrated area of above-average activity is in the Ohio River Valley from Illinois to Indiana. The largest area of below-average activity is in Florida. Excess moisture is the problem there. There are reports of disease problems in vegetables and standing water in pastures. Soil moisture statewide in Florida is reported at 28 percent excessive and 68 percent adequate.

 

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu          

Kevin Price, Professor Emeritus, Agronomy and Geography, Remote Sensing, GIS
kpprice@ksu.edu

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