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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: January 21 - February 3

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:

 

 

KAN_05_2014_CNDVI

Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for January 21 – February 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that all but the Southeastern Division had snow over the period. The results of this week’s storm won’t show until next week.

 

KAN_05_2014_PYNDVI

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for January 21 – February 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the Central and Southeastern Divisions have lower NDVI values this year. Last year, these areas had milder conditions and more active growth. The most dramatic year-to-year change is in south central Kansas. Barber and Harper counties are showing increased activity, while Cowley and Sumner counties have greatly reduced activity. 

KAN_05_2014_LTNDVI

Figure 3. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for January 21 – February 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that overall conditions are fairly close to average. The Southwestern Division has the most widespread area of above-average NDVI readings.

CRN_05_2014_CNDVI

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for January 21 – February 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the region had snow cover again. The exceptions include a small area of south central South Dakota, as well as an area from southeastern Kansas to western Kentucky. These areas did see snowfall with the most recent storm, which will be reflected in next week’s map.

CRN_05_2014_PYNDVI

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period January 21 – February 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there is an increase in NDVI readings to the west and a decrease in activity to the east. Last year, the western areas averaged almost 3 inches greater snow cover. This year, the increased cover is in the Midwest with 64 percent more coverage and an average depth that is 3.5 inches greater.

CRN_05_2014_LTNDVI

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for January 21 – February 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows the continued influence of snow cover or lack of snow cover. The eastern portions of the Corn Belt have the greatest snow depth and the biggest decrease from average NDVI readings. 

 

 US_05_2014_CNDVI

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for January 21 – February 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the most notable feature is the snow across east Texas and the South. Average depth across the band was 0.2 inches, but snowfall depths of up to 7 inches were reported.

 

US_05_2014_PYNDVI

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period January 21 – February 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that higher NDVI readings continue to dominate in the Pacific Northwest through California, Nevada and Utah. The lack of snow in these areas has resulted in increased drought in the area, with major concerns for the water supplies. The differences in the Northern Plains and the Midwest are of less concern. 

US_05_2014_LTNDVI

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 25-year average for the period January 14 – 27 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there is a large area of above-average NDVI readings in the Pacific Northwest through northern California. Drought conditions remain in the moderate to exceptional range according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. Freezing temperatures in southern Georgia and the Florida Panhandle have had a negative effect on vegetative activity.

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