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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: April 8 - 21

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 April 8 – 21 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that vegetative activity continues to be low. The greatest level of activity is in south central Kansas and along the Kansas-Missouri border. These areas have had the warmest temperatures over the last two weeks.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for April 8 – 21 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows the biggest contrast is in the Northwestern and the Central Divisions. In the northwest, moisture levels have been slightly better than last year. In contrast, in the Central Division moisture levels are less favorable than last year at this time. This was also true, to a lesser degree, in east central and southeast Kansas.

Figure 3. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for April 8 – 21 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that while the entire state is below average, the biggest area of below-average biomass activity is in the Central Division. Cold temperatures and dry conditions have continued to delay vegetative development.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for April 8 – 21 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that lowest NDVI values are in the northern and western parts of the region. Lingering snow cover is a particular problem in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period April 8 – 21 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows the greatest increase is in the upper Plains. Much of the difference is due to lower snow cover. Last year, Kennebec, SD reported 24 inches of snow. This year they’ve reported just an inch.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for April 8 – 21 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that much of the region is below average. In the northern Great Lakes region, lingering snow has delayed photosynthetic activity. In the southern and western areas, cooler-than-average temperatures and drought have delayed activity.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for April 8 – 21 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the Southeast and the Pacific Northwest has the greatest level of vegetative activity, although increased biomass production is also seen along the coast in New England. In the Pacific Northwest, the low snow pack continues to be of concern as it moves out of its wet season.

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period April 8 – 21 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the biggest difference is in the Northern Plains, where lower snow cover has allowed for more biomass production. 

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 25-year average for the period April 8 – 21 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the area of below-average production has retreated northward as the snow cover melts. Above-average NDVI values are seen along the mountains of California, where low snow packs are fueling drought concerns for the summer. In the Central Plains, cold temperatures and/or dry conditions have delayed vegetation.

 

Mary Knapp, Agronomy, 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