Kansas State University

  1. K-State Home
  2. »Agronomy Home
  3. »K-State Agronomy eUpdates
  4. »eUpdate 469 August 8th, 2014»Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: July22 - August 4

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: July22 - August 4

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 25-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, service climatologist:

Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for July 22 – August 4 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the area of highest vegetative activity is in the extreme northeastern part of the state. This matches with the area reported as drought-free in the U.S. Drought Monitor. Low biomass production continues to be a problem in west central and southwest Kansas, where extreme to severe drought remains.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for July 22 – August 4 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the biggest increase is in the western half of the state. Conditions were so poor in that region last year that even areas with low biomass production this year are much better than last. Hamilton County is a good example. Last year, precipitation in the county averaged less than 2 inches in July; this year the average is 4 inches.

Figure 3. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for July 22 – August 4 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows above average productivity in parts of central Kansas, from Trego to Barber counties and in northeast Kansas in the Nemaha, Brown, Doniphan, and Atchison county areas. Pockets of below-average production can be seen along the Smoky Hill and Kansas River Valleys, and in western Kansas. This is particularly prominent in Stanton and Greeley counties.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for July 22 – August 4 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the region has a high level of productivity. Activity is particularly high in northern Wisconsin and along the upper peninsula of Michigan. Another area of high productivity is centered from eastern Nebraska across northern Missouri and into central Illinois. In Illinois, corn condition is reported at 81 percent good to excellent conditions, with more than half the crop in dough stage.

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period July 22 – August 4 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the western portions of the region together with northern Missouri have much greater biomass production. These areas were severely limited by last year’s drought. In contrast, the eastern portion of the Corn Belt has generally lower biomass productivity than last year.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for July 22 – August 4 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the largest areas of below-average productivity are in Wisconsin and Michigan. In Wisconsin, observers reported that dry soils and cool temperatures were delaying corn development, particularly in late-planted fields. Still, 72 percent of the corn crop is reported to be in good to excellent condition.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for July 22 – August 4 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the highest level of vegetative production is in the eastern half of the region. Western Pennsylvania has particularly high NDVI values for the period. In contrast, the lowest biomass production is in the Desert Southwest, particularly in eastern California and western Arizona.

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period July 22 – August 4 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that reduced biomass production is particularly evident in the east central states, with highest departures in North Carolina and Virginia. In Virginia, 25 percent of the pastures were reported to be in poor to very poor condition.

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 25-year average for the period July 22 – August 4 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that below-average vegetative production is common in the upper Midwest, where cool weather continues to hamper crop progress.

 

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