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  4. »eUpdate 531 October 2nd, 2015»Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: September 15 - 28

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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: September 15 - 28

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 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the area of highest biomass production has moved farther east. There is an area of increased photosynthetic activity in southwest Kansas, where rainfall continues to be higher than average. Favorable soil moisture and moderate temperatures resulted in increased biomass production in these areas. An area of lower NDVI values is beginning to appear in Chase County.

 

 

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for September 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows parts of central and west 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. Lower NDVI values are also visible in parts of east central and northeast Kansas which has seen a drier September than last year

Figure 3. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for September 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that much of the state has average or above-average photosynthetic activity. The epicenter of below-average photosynthetic activity is centered in Graham, Rooks, Trego, and Ellis counties. These areas continue to miss most of the storm systems, and moderate drought is expanding in these areas. An area of below-average photosynthetic activity is developing in Chase County, as well.

 

 

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for September 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the area of greatest photosynthetic activity is concentrated on the northern and southern parts of the region. Favorable moisture conditions have resulted in high photosynthetic activity. As crop maturity advances, areas of lower NDVI values will increase.

 

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period for September 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows lower photosynthetic activity across most of the region. Pockets of higher NDVI values are also present -- likely due to late-planted spring crops that are slower in maturing. In North Dakota, crop progress is generally well ahead of last year’s development. For example, flaxseed harvest is 98 percent complete, compared to 68 percent 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 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows most of the region has average biomass production. From North Dakota through southern Minnesota into northeastern Missouri there are areas of below-average photosynthetic activity. 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 15 - 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the highest photosynthetic activity is centered in the Appalachians of West Virginia and Tennessee. Lower NDVI values are noticeable in Florida, where drought conditions continue. While rains have been more prevalent in the area recently, 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 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that lower NDVI values are most evident along the northern tier of states and through the Ohio River Valley. Crop development in much of the region is ahead of average. In the West Coast region, lower NDVI values are most evident along the Washington coast. Little change is evident in Oregon and Northern California, where drought remains unchanged from last year.

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 26-year average for the period September 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows Texas is a center for lower-than-normal photosynthetic activity. Below-average NDVI values are also visible from Georgia through Florida. Drought continues to be an issue in these areas.

 

 

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