Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: October 31, 2017 - November 6, 2017
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 28-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 during October 31 – November 6, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows very little vegetative activity this week, as the growing season comes to an end. Temperatures were between 5 and 9 degrees F below-normal for the week.
Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for October 31 – November 6, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows a decrease in vegetative activity. This is particularly true in the southern third of the state, where cooler temperatures have slowed vegetative activity.
Figure 3. Compared to the 28-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for October 31 – November 6, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory show much below-average conditions across the southern third of the state. Higher-than-average NDVI values are visible in eastern Kansas. These values correspond to areas of the state had a later end to the growing season with favorable moisture in the previous weeks.
Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S for October 31 – November 6, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows the highest NDVI values centered along the Pacific Northwest. Clouds and cool weather have limited vegetative activity in the Central and Northern Plains.
Figure 5. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time October 31 – November 6, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows higher NDVI values across the Pacific Northwest and eastern Texas. Last year, Montana and the Dakotas were moving into a dry pattern that became the start of the intense drought the dominated this year. This year, snow, clouds, and rain mask the vegetative activity. This also extends across southern Kansas into New England.
Figure 6. The U.S. comparison to the 28-year average for the period of October 31 – November 6, 2017 from K-State’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory shows a large area of below-average NDVI values across the northern United States and from the Ohio River Valley to the lower Mississippi Valley. These low NDVI values are the result of persistent cloud cover, coupled with snow and/or rain in the regions.
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
Ray Asebedo, Precision Agriculture
Nan An, Imaging Scientist