Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: May 5 - May 18
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that vegetative development continues in the eastern portions of the state. Photosynthetic activity is highest in the Southeast and East Central Divisions, where temperatures have been the warmest.
Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for May 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows most of the state has higher NDVI values. The greatest concentration of higher photosynthetic activity is in south central Kansas. April had twice the precipitation as last year in that region.
Figure 3. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for May 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the northern divisions, particularly north central and northeast Kansas have below-average photosynthetic activity. Rainfall has been later arriving in this region and temperatures have been cooler.
Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for May 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that photosynthetic activity continues to be most limited in the northern parts of the region. Cold, wet weather in the recent weeks has delayed development.
Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period May 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows Kansas and the Upper Mississippi Valley have had the biggest increase in photosynthetic activity. In Kansas, more plentiful moisture has been the driver, while in the Upper Mississippi Valley, an early end to snow cover has been the big influence in early plant development.
Figure 6. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for May 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows much lower-than-average biomass production in the northern areas. Lack of moisture, followed by a cool spring, has delayed plant development.
Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for May 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there is an area of low photosynthetic activity along the Ohio River Valley and into the southern Mississippi Valley. Excess moisture is the major culprit there.
Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period May 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows much higher biomass production in the Central Plains and West Texas, where favorable moisture has spurred plant development. In east Texas, excess moisture has been a problem.
Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 26-year average for the period May 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows the biggest departures from average NDVI values are in the Plains. To the north, drought and cold temperatures have delayed plant development. To the south, particularly in east Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, excessive moisture has been the cause of most of the reduction.
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
Kevin Price, Professor Emeritus, Agronomy and Geography, Remote Sensing, GIS
Nan An, Graduate Research Assistant, Ecology & Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory (EASAL)