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  4. »eUpdate 515 June 12th, 2015»Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: May 26 - June 8

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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: May 26 - June 8

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 May 26 – June 8 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that vegetative activity has increased across the state. There are areas of low biomass production in eastern Kansas that align with stream areas that are at high levels due to heavy rains in May.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for May 26 – June 8 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows biomass production is much higher than last year across much of the state. It is particularly noticeable in southwest and south central Kansas. Last year, precipitation through May in these divisions was averaging around 67 percent of normal. This year moisture in the region is averaging 120 to 150 percent of normal.

Figure 3. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for May 26 – June 8 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the western divisions have the greatest increase over normal levels of photosynthetic activity. While precipitation in this region is much above normal, it has not been quite as excessive as in the Northeastern Division.

 

 

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for May 26 – June 8 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the lowest level of photosynthetic activity is across the center of the region from North Dakota through western Ohio. Cooler-than-normal temperatures for much of the period have continued to delay crop progress. 

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period May 26 – June 8 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows much of the region has much higher biomass production. The eastern parts of the region, particularly Ohio, Indiana, and northern Kentucky, have much lower photosynthetic activity.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for May 26 – June 8 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the eastern portion of the region has below-average photosynthetic activity. Cooler-than-normal temperatures have slowed crop development, although recent dry weather has allowed for increased field work.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for May 26 – June 8 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that a high level of photosynthetic activity is most visible in the New England area, as warmer temperatures favor plant development. There is also an area of high photosynthetic activity in Arizona and New Mexico in response to increased precipitation in the region.

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period May 26 – June 8 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows higher photosynthetic activity from the Plains through the Southeast. The central Ohio River Valley has much lower biomass production. Cooler temperatures have delayed crops in that area.

 

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 26-year average for the period May 26 – June 8 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows much of the country has close-to-average photosynthetic activity. Higher-than-average biomass production is most noticeable across the Pacific Northwest and the western High Plains. Lower-than-average production is concentrated in the Ohio River Valley, where cooler temperatures have slowed plant development.

 

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