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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: May 20 - June 2

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:

KAN_22_2014_CNDVI

Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for May 20 – June 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the greatest level of vegetative activity is in the eastern third of the state. Even in this region there are pockets of reduced photosynthetic activity due to unfavorable local conditions.

 

KAN_22_2014_PYNDVI

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for May 20 – June 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the central portion of the state has much lower productivity. The combination of the late freeze and drought conditions has seriously reduced vegetative production this year. A small portion of east central Kansas has increased vegetative activity this year. This area missed the May freeze and has had more favorable moisture this year than last.

KAN_22_2014_LTNDVI

Figure 3. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for May 20 – June 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows the entire state with lower-than-average biomass production. The greatest decrease can be seen across areas from north central to south central Kansas. In the north central region, damage from freezing temperatures in mid-May is becoming visible. In south central Kansas the high temperatures in late May coupled with high winds have decreased vegetative activity.

CRN_22_2014_CNDVI

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for May 20 – June 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the greatest vegetative activity is in the extreme eastern portions of the region. The area around the Great Lakes is also showing high levels of biomass production, as winter finally releases its grip on the region. From North Dakota across Iowa and into the Ohio River Valley, plant progress is still behind the 5-year average.

CRN_22_2014_PYNDVI

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period May 20 – June 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the northern and eastern areas of the region have increased vegetative activity, while Kansas and northern Missouri have much lower biomass production. In Missouri, soil moisture is rated 70 percent adequate or surplus. In Kansas, that value is only 40 percent.

CRN_22_2014_LTNDVI

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for May 20 – June 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the western areas of the region are below average. From North Dakota through Iowa and northern Missouri cold, wet soils have delayed activity. In Kansas, a late freeze and continuing drought are the major causes of the decreased plant productivity.

 

 US_22_2014_CNDVI

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for May 20 – June 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the area from Iowa through eastern Indiana has lower biomass production than most of the eastern U.S. The cold, wet start to the growing season continues to influence these areas. In contrast, favorable moisture has resulted in higher NDVI values in the Inter-Mountain West, particularly in Idaho and western Montana.

 

US_22_2014_PYNDVI

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period May 20 – June 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the greatest increase in biomass production is concentrated in the Northwest, from Washington through Minnesota. Favorable conditions to start the growing season have resulted in high biomass production in these areas.

US_22_2014_LTNDVI

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 25-year average for the period May 20 – June 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the central U.S. has the biggest area of below-average photosynthetic activity. Cold, wet conditions delayed development to the north, while extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), and continued drought have reduced production to the south. The greatest area of above-normal biomass production can be seen in the Pacific Northwest and in New England, particularly in Maine.

 

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