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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: August 19 - September 1

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 August 19 – September 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that northeast Kansas has the highest biomass production. The Republican River Valley region of north central Kansas also shows high NDVI values for the period. The largest areas of low biomass production continue to be in western Kansas, where severe to extreme drought is still widespread.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for August 19 – September 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that NDVI values are lower across much of the state. Crop progress for corn, soybeans, and sorghum was ahead of last year. For example, corn harvest was reported as 7 percent complete, where last year zero percent of the crop had been harvested at this time.

Figure 3. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for August 19 – September 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows most of the state is close to average in biomass production. The exceptions are Stanton County in southwest Kansas and Marion County in central Kansas.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for August 19 – September 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the region has a high level of biomass production. The lowest values continue to be in the western portions of the region, although pockets of low production are showing throughout the region. In Minnesota, for example, rains generally were beneficial but there were some reports of poor hay and wheat conditions due to excessive moisture.

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period August 19 – September 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that biomass production was much lower in northern Minnesota and Michigan, as well as in parts of Indiana and Kentucky. On the northern edge, cool wet weather has hindered crop development. In contrast, a recent heat wave in Kentucky has decreased crop conditions. During the same 2013 period, 85 percent of the corn was in good to excellent condition. This year only 60 percent of the corn is in good to excellent condition.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for August 19 – September 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that much of the region is close to average. In the Northern Plains, favorable growing conditions have resulted in higher-than-average biomass production. Along the northern Great Lakes, excess moisture and cool temperatures have delayed crop production.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for August 19 – September 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the highest NDVI values are in the eastern U.S., particularly along the Appalachians. The Upper Missouri River basin also continues to show high biomass production.

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period August 19 – September 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the desert Southwest has generally higher biomass production. The active monsoon this year has favored plant development. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 63 percent of Colorado is drought free. Last year, less than two percent of Colorado fell in that category.

Figure  9. The U.S. comparison to the 25-year average for the period August 19 – September 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the Northern Plains and the Atlantic Seaboard areas have the largest increase in biomass activity. The most notable areas of below-average productivity are in northwestern Wyoming and the northern Great Lakes region. Plant development was delayed by cooler-than-average temperatures in both regions. In Yellowstone (northwestern Wyoming), temperatures in August averaged 3 degrees cooler than normal, and the precipitation total of 4.29 inches was the wettest August on record.

 

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