Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: June 7 - 13
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 June 7 – June 13, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory continues to show high NDVI values only in the eastern third of the state. The recent dry, warm weather has limited vegetative activity in the rest of the state. The impact of the warmer temperatures at the end of the period will be more visible in next week’s map.
Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for June 7 – June 13, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows vegetative production much lower across much of the state. The greatest increase in photosynthetic activity is confined to extreme northeast Kansas. Although May was wetter than average in most of the state, it didn’t reach the extremes seen in 2015. Crop progress continues ahead of last year at this time.
Figure 3. Compared to the 27-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for June 7 – June 13, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows below-average vegetative activity in the central part of the state. The rapid change from wetter-than-normal to hotter, drier conditions has accelerated plant develop and stressed newly planted row crops.
Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S for June 7 – June 13, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows low NDVI values across central Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. Much warmer temperatures are driving the downturn in conditions as parts of Midwest are reporting lower-than-average precipitation. In southeastern Missouri and northern Arkansas conditions are more favorable, but this is likely to decrease given the rapid change to hot, dry weather.
Figure 5. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the June 7 – June 13, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows that lower NDVI values are most evident in the central U.S. Drier-than-average conditions, coupled with extremely hot weather, have delayed vegetation compared to last year.
Figure 6. The U.S. comparison to the 27-year average for the period June 7 – June 13, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows increased areas of below-average photosynthetic activity. The boundary in Texas of favorably moist conditions in the west to excessively wet conditions in the east has shrunk. That wetter-than-normal pattern is the driver behind low photosynthetic activity in Louisiana.
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
Ray Asebedo, Precision Agriculture
Nan An, Imaging Scientist