Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: September 13 - 19
The weekly Vegetation Condition Report maps below can be a valuable tool for making crop selection and marketing decisions.
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 27-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.
The Vegetation Condition Report (VCR) maps were originally developed by Dr. Kevin Price, K-State professor emeritus of agronomy and geography. His pioneering work in this area is gratefully acknowledged.
The maps have recently been revised, using newer technology and enhanced sources of data. Dr. Nan An, Imaging Scientist, collaborated with Dr. Antonio Ray Asebedo, assistant professor and lab director of the Precision Agriculture Lab in the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University, on the new VCR development. Multiple improvements have been made, such as new image processing algorithms with new remotely sensed data from EROS Data Center.
These improvements increase sensitivity for capturing more variability in plant biomass and photosynthetic capacity. However, the same format as the previous versions of the VCR maps was retained, thus allowing the transition to be as seamless as possible for the end user. For this spring, it was decided not to incorporate the snow cover data, which had been used in past years. However, this feature will be added back at a later date. In addition, production of the Corn Belt maps has been stopped, as the continental U.S. maps will provide the same data for these areas. Dr. Asebedo and Dr. An will continue development and improvement of the VCRs and other advanced maps.
The maps in this issue of the newsletter show the current state of photosynthetic activity in Kansas, and the continental U.S., with comments from Mary Knapp, assistant state climatologist:
Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for September 13 - September 19, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory continues to show widespread low NDVI values in the western third of the state. The area of low NDVI values south of the Kansas River in eastern Kansas has shrunk, as more favorable moisture levels are present.
Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for September 13 – September 19, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows vegetative production much higher across the northern areas of the state. Heavier rainfall this year has favored vegetative activity.
Figure 3. Compared to the 27-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for September 13 – September 19, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows above-average vegetative activity across the eastern half of the state. Below-average activity is most visible in south central Kansas, where winter wheat planting is underway.
Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S for September 13 – September 19, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows the highest NDVI values are in the upper New England Region. Favorable moisture continues to drive active photosynthesis in these areas. A pocket of much lower photosynthetic activity continues to be visible along the mid-Atlantic, where drought conditions are an issue.
Figure 5. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period September 13 – September 19, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows that lower NDVI values are most evident in the South, where both flooding in some areas and drought in other areas continue to be problems. By contrast, much of Texas shows higher vegetative activity than last year at this time.
Figure 6. The U.S. comparison to the 27-year average for the period of September 13 – September 19 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows below-average photosynthetic activity in the mid-Atlantic region. Drought continues to intensify, bringing an early end to the growing season.
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
Ray Asebedo, Precision Agriculture
Nan An, Imaging Scientist