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  4. »eUpdate 479 October 17th, 2014»Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: September 30 - October 13

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 30 - October 13

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 30 – October 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the most photosynthetically active region continues to be in the eastern third of the state. Some lower biomass production values are visible in Brown and Doniphan counties where excess moisture created flooding problems.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for September 30 – October 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there is a mix of higher and lower photosynthetic activity. The higher values are most visible in the northern counties, where summer crop development into senescence has been slowed by cooler temperatures.

Figure 3. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for September 30 – October 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows the Southeast and East Central Divisions have the greatest increase in biomass production. Mild temperatures and ample moisture have favored continued development in these areas.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for September 30 – October 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that high levels of biomass productivity are evident along the northern and southern fringes of the region. In the Great Lakes region, plant development continues to be delayed. In the southern portions, favorable moisture and mild temperatures have continued to aid photosynthetic activity.

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period September 30 – October 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the biggest change is in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Last year this region had unusually low photosynthetic activity due to an unusually early and severe winter storm. Snow depths ranged from 23 to 48 inches.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for September 30 – October 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the region is very close to average. There continues to be an area of higher-than-normal biomass productivity in the western parts of the Dakotas, while Ohio has much lower-than-normal biomass productivity. Cool, wet conditions have delayed harvest, but 81 percent of the corn is mature.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for September 30 – October 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that moderate to high photosynthetic activity continues along the Pacific Northwest. Snow cover in the mountains continues to be limited.

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period September 30 – October 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that higher NDVI values are visible in the area from Idaho to western South Dakota. Last year at this time, a major winter storm had moved through the area. This resulted in much lower photosynthetic activity. In contrast, the Texas Panhandle has seen greater photosynthetic activity this year due to favorable moisture and temperatures.

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 25-year average for the period September 30 – October 13 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that cool, wet weather has limited photosynthetic activity in Ohio. Greater-than-average biomass productivity can be seen along the Rockies, with the greatest increase in Montana and the western Dakotas. Ample moisture has also fueled high biomass production along southern New Mexico into the Big Bend region of Texas.

 

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