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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 1 - 14

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 26-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, assistant state climatologist:

Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for September 1 – 14 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the highest biomass production continues to be in eastern Kansas. There is an area of increased photosynthetic activity in southwest Kansas, where rainfall continues to be higher than average. The highest NDVI values continue in Brown and Doniphan counties along the Missouri River Valley. Favorable soil moisture and moderate temperatures resulted in increased biomass production in these areas. Lower NDVI values are visible in Trego, Ellis, Rush, and Ness counties, where drought conditions have intensified.

 

 

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for September 1 – 14 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows parts of central and south central Kansas have lower photosynthetic activity. These areas continue to miss out on the storm systems and drought conditions have intensified. This area is now considered to be in moderate drought. In contrast the East Central Division has had more favorable conditions this year. Moderate temperatures and favorable moisture have resulted in higher photosynthetic activity.

Figure 3. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for September 1 – 14 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the state continues to show at- or above-average photosynthetic activity. Most of the below-average photosynthetic activity is concentrated in Ellis and Rush counties. These areas continue to miss most of the storm systems are now considered to be in moderate drought.

 

 

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for September 1 – 14 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the greatest level of photosynthetic activity is concentrated from Iowa and southern Minnesota into Illinois. Favorable moisture conditions have resulted in high photosynthetic activity. In Iowa, corn is 80 percent good to excellent with reports of some disease pressure.

 

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period for September 1 – 14 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows lower photosynthetic activity along the western and eastern portions of the region. The greatest decrease is in Michigan. Both corn and soybean development is ahead of last year.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for September 1 – 14 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows most of the region has average biomass production. Central Illinois through eastern Pennsylvania stand out with below-average NDVI values, although crop conditions are rated favorably this year. Crop development is ahead of average in these regions. There is an area of below-average photosynthetic activity in western Kansas, where drought is intensifying.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S for September 1 – 14 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the highest photosynthetic activity is centered in the Upper Midwest. Lower NDVI values are noticeable in Florida, where drought conditions continue. While rains have been more prevalent, they have had minimal impact. Low NDVI values are also notable along the western Cascades in Oregon, where drought and wildfires continue to affect vegetation.

 

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period September 1 – 14 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that lower NDVI values are most evident along the northern tier of states. Crop development in much of the region is ahead of average. In the West Coast region, lower NDVI values are visible in northern California into northern Idaho and western Montana. Decreased photosynthetic activity is also evident in western Montana, as extreme drought expands in the area.

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 26-year average for the period September 1 – 14 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the West continues to have lower-than-normal photosynthetic activity, while the greatest increase in NDVI values is in Mississippi and Alabama. There is also an area of below-average NDVI values along the lower Great Lakes to Upstate New York into New England. This marks an area of expanding moisture stress and crop development is ahead of average.             

 

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