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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: February 24 - March 9

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 February 24 – March 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that snow was a factor statewide. The last of this snow occurred with the March 4-5 system. Amounts were light and moisture was limited except in extreme southeastern Kansas.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for February 24 – March 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows vegetative activity is much lower. Cold temperatures and snow cover have limited development. 

Figure 3. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for February 24 – March 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that southwest and south central Kansas have the greatest increase. These areas are showing slightly above-average photosynthetic activity for the period.

 

 

 

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for February 24 – March 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that while snow was widespread across the region, central Nebraska missed out on the system. Snowfall in the Northern Plains continues to be much below average.

 

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period February 24 – March 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that eastern portion of the region has much lower NDVI values. Cold temperatures continue to limit biomass development in the region.

Figure 6. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for February 24 – March 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows the split of above-average photosynthetic activity to the north and below-average activity to the south. Photosynthetic activity in the southeastern portions of the region has been limited by cooler-than-normal temperatures. Temperatures in southern Indiana are averaging 8 to 12 degrees cooler than normal for the week ending March 10th.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for February 24 – March 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the snow again penetrated into the Deep South, but missed the mountains of the West Coast. The latest snowfall in the southern areas during this two-week composite period was with the March 4-5th storm.

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period February 24 – March 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that lower NDVI values dominate the eastern half of the country. Much cooler-than-average temperatures in late February and early March have delayed plant development in these areas. In the Pacific Northwest and California, higher photosynthetic activity is a signal of the continuing low snowpack in these areas. 

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 26-year average for the period February 24 – March 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the West has much above-average photosynthetic activity while the East has much below-average values. The East continues to have much cooler-than-average temperatures, which have limited plant development. The West has had more winter moisture in the form of rain rather than snow. This has increased photosynthetic activity at the expense of water storage for the summer. A notable exception to this trend is the Front Range of the Rockies. Snow water equivalents there are at or above normal.

 

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