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K-State Agronomy eUpdates

Department of Agronomy

Kansas State University

2004 Throckmorton PSC

Manhatan, KS 66506

785-532-6101

agronomy@ksu.edu

Extension Agronomy

Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: November 26 - December 9

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 24-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 Kevin Price at kpprice@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, service climatologist:

 

 

KAN_49_2013_CNDVI

Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for November 26 – December 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the entire state had snow during the period. Amounts varied considerably, with the highest amounts in the North Central Division. Lebanon, in Smith County, reported 6.5 inches while the Garden City Experiment Station reported a trace.

KAN_49_2013_PYNDVI

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for November 26 – December 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the western areas of the state have the greatest increase in biomass production. Central and Eastern Divisions have the greatest decrease. More favorable growing conditions prevailed in western Kansas this year, while cooler temperatures have limited development in the east.

KAN_49_2013_LTNDVI

Figure 3. Compared to the 24-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for November 26 – December 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that conditions are very close to the long-term average. The western third is slightly better than average, with fall moisture continuing to be at or above normal. Temperatures made a relatively gradual transition from warm to cold, rather than an abrupt switch.

CRN_49_2013_CNDVI

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for November 26 – December 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the Corn Belt had snow during the period. On the 9th of December snow covered the entire region, with amount ranging from a trace in southwest Kansas to as much as 20 inches in Michigan.

CRN_49_2013_PYNDVI

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period November 26 – December 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that lower biomass productivity is visible in the northern and eastern areas of the region. Much of this is due to persistent snow cover in these areas.

CRN_49_2013_LTNDVI

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 24-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for November 26 – December 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there is a sharp contrast along the northern areas of the region. Those sections with more persistent snow cover have slightly lower-than-average biomass production.

 US_49_2013_CNDVI

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for November 26 – December 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that snow cover was a factor as far south as central Texas. Vegetative activity continues to slow as cooler temperatures penetrate the South.

 

US_49_2013_PYNDVI

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period November 26 – December 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the Northeast has the biggest decrease in biomass production. This year more than 70 percent of the area had snow cover on the 9th of December.  Last year, that coverage was just 16 percent. The much-greater-than-average biomass production in the Pacific Northwest is also snow related. While snow coverage in this region is greater this year, the average depth is less. On December 9,, 2011 the average snow depth in the Pacific Northwest was 12 inches. This year the average is just 7 inches. 

US_49_2013_LTNDVI

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 24-year average for the period November 26 – December 9 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the greatest contrasts are in the Northeast and the Northwest. The Northeast has below-average vegetative activity. This is due to a combination of cooler temperatures and snow cover. In the Northwest, a smaller snowpack has allowed for above-average vegetative activity.

Mary Knapp, Agronomy, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu          

Kevin Price, Agronomy and Geography, Remote Sensing, Natural Resources, GIS
kpprice@ksu.edu

Nan An, Graduate Research Assistant, Ecology & Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory (EASAL)
nanan@ksu.edu