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K-State Agronomy eUpdates

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: June 21 - 27

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 June 21 – June 27, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory continues to show widespread low NDVI values in the western third of the state. Low NDVI values are also showing south of the Kansas River in eastern Kansas, where recent hot dry weather has had a negative impact on vegetation.

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for June 21 – June 27, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows vegetative production much lower across the northern areas of the state. Much of this is due less rainfall this year, as compared to last.

 

Figure 3. Compared to the 27-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for June 21 – June 27, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows below-average vegetative activity continues in the northeastern areas of the state, where wet weather was quickly replaced by hot, dry conditions. Increased photosynthetic activity is most visible in the southwest divisions. Continued rains, and closer to normal temperatures have favored vegetative activity in this area.  

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S for June 21 – June 27, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows the highest NDVI values are in the upper Midwest/Great Lakes region. Favorable moisture continues to drive active photosynthesis in these areas. A pocket of lower photosynthetic activity continues to be visible along the lower Mississippi River, where flash drought conditions are an issue.

Figure 5. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period June 21 – June 27, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows that lower NDVI values are most evident in western Great Plains. Drier conditions this year have delayed vegetation compared to last year. Western Washington state has much lower NDVI values this year, due largely to excessively wet weather. The weekly precipitation for western Washington is 200 to 400 percent of normal.

Figure 6. The U.S. comparison to the 27-year average for the period June 21 – June 27, 2016 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows below-average photosynthetic activity across the western Washington, where excessive moisture has limited biomass activity. Vegetative activity has rebounded in east Texas as the floods of April recede, but is still below average.

 

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu

Ray Asebedo, Precision Agriculture
ara4747@ksu.edu          

Nan An, Imaging Scientist
an_198317@hotmail.com