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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: September 2 - 15

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 September 2 – 15 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the greatest biomass productivity continues to be in eastern Kansas. However, increased photosynthetic activity can be seen in southwest Kansas, particularly in Kearny and western Finney counties.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for September 2 – 15 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the eastern third of the state has much lower NDVI values while the Northwest and North Central Divisions have much higher NDVI values. Last year, the Northwest and North Central Divisions were 10 to 20% lower on percent of normal moisture. Also, temperatures last year were averaging 5 to 6 degrees F warmer than normal while this year temperatures in these divisions are averaging 4 to 5 degrees cooler than normal.

Figure 3. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for September 2 – 15 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows most of the state with close-to-average biomass production. The Northwestern Division does have a large area with higher-than-average photosynthetic activity, particularly in Jewell, Republic, and Cloud counties. This active vegetation may be more susceptible to damage from the cold temperatures during the period of Sept. 12-17.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for September 2 – 15 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that high photosynthetic activity continues from the Missouri River Basin through Iowa to northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. NDVI values continue to decrease on the western edges of the region.

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period September 2 – 15 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that, despite the noticeable splice line, higher biomass production is concentrated in the western parts of the region. In North Dakota, only 65 percent of the spring wheat has been harvested, compared to an average of 88 percent harvested by this time.

Figure 6. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for September 2 – 15 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the Dakotas, eastern Nebraska, and Iowa continue to have above-average photosynthetic activity. Cooler- and wetter-than-average conditions continue to slow plant development, but allow for good crop conditions.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for September 2 – 15 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that New England as well as the Great Lakes regions continue to have high photosynthetic activity. Parts of the Mountain West also continue to show moderate levels of biomass production. A brief snow event in Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas on September 12th and 13th quickly dissipated. The annual snow mask on these maps won’t be implemented until after the 1st of October, unless a more persistent snow event occurs.

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period September 2 – 15 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the central part of the U.S. has mostly higher photosynthetic activity, while the mid-Atlantic states have much lower biomass production. In the High Plains, 77 percent of the area is reported as drought-free by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Last year, only 26 percent of the area was drought-free.

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 25-year average for the period September 2 – 15 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the Northern Plains has much-higher-than-average biomass production, while the values are lower than average in the southeastern U.S. Heavy rains in North Carolina are delaying harvest.

 

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