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K-State Agronomy eUpdates

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: November 8 - 14

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 8 – November 14, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows only light photosynthetic activity, particularly along the Arkansas River Basin into south central Kansas. There is also light activity in southeast Kansas, where the first frost has yet to occur.

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for November 8 – November 14, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows higher vegetative activity from north central Kansas to the eastern third of the state. Favorable early autumn rainfall, coupled with warmer-than-normal temperatures continue to be the major contributor to this higher vegetative activity. 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 8 – November 14, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows much of the state has above-average vegetative activity. Parts of central and eastern Kansas have had the latest first frost on record this year, allowing for an extended growing period.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S for November 8 – November 14, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows highest NDVI along the Pacific Northwest where wet conditions have fueled 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 coming to an end.

Figure 5. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for November 8 – November 14, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows that higher NDVI values in the Pacific Northwest. Rainfall has been much more plentiful this year, and snowfall has been limited. Along the Gulf Coast, warmer-than-normal temperatures and little rainfall continue to be an issue. 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 8 – November 14, 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. In contrast, much higher-than-normal NDVI values are visible across the Northern Plains. Warmer-than-normal temperatures and lack of snow cover have resulted in higher-than-average vegetative activity.

 

 

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu

Ray Asebedo, Precision Agriculture
ara4747@ksu.edu          

Nan An, Imaging Scientist
an_198317@hotmail.com