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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, and 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, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows a moderate level of photosynthetic activity across much of the state.   The greatest area of high photosynthetic activity is in the eastern third of the state, where temperatures have been favorable.

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for June 21– June 27, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows a mix of conditions. In west central Kansas, much lower NDVI values are visible. Higher NDVI values in the northeast reflect the more favorable moisture, coupled with warmer temperatures that have prevailed this year.

Figure 3. Compared to the 27-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for June 21– June 27, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory near normal activity across eastern parts of the state. The rapid switch from wetter than normal to drier than normal conditions has resulted in crop stress in some areas.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S for June 21– June 27, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows the area of highest NDVI values is confined to the South, although lower-than-normal NDVI values are visible in east Texas and Louisiana. Heavy rains have impacted this region, while persistent snow pack has reduced vegetative activity in the mountains of the West.

Figure 5. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for June 21– June 27, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows the increasing drought in eastern Montana and the Dakotas. Warm, windy conditions have further stressed rangeland that never emerged from winter dormancy.

Figure 6. The U.S. comparison to the 27-year average for the period of June 21– June 27, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows an area of below-average photosynthetic activity has moved eastward and is now concentrated in the northern Plains. Areas from Montana through southwestern Minnesota are showing much below-average NDVI values due mainly to persistent dry conditions. Rainfall from late this week has not yet had an impact on the vegetation.

 

 

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu

Ray Asebedo, Precision Agriculture
ara4747@ksu.edu

Nan An, Imaging Scientist
an_198317@hotmail.com