Kansas State University

  1. K-State Home
  2. »Agronomy Home
  3. »K-State Agronomy eUpdates
  4. »eUpdate 471 August 22nd, 2014»Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: August 5 - 18

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: August 5 - 18

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, assistant state climatologist:

Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for August 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that NDVI values continue to be highest in extreme northeast Kansas, and along the Republican River Valley. Some moderate NDVI values are visible in parts of southwest and south central Kansas, where recent rainfalls have been greater.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for August 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the greatest difference is in north central Kansas. While rainfall in the region has been slightly higher this year, the distribution was much more favorable last year.

Figure 3. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for August 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows the greatest departure from the long-term average is in north central Kansas, particularly in Phillips and Rooks counties. Concentrated rains in June created problems.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for August 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that highest NDVI values are along the Missouri River and into the central Corn Belt. It is interesting to note patches of very high NDVI values next to areas of moderate to low NDVI values. Possible reasons for the differences are different crops (corn or soybeans) and different maturity within a crop.

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period August 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there are pockets of much lower NDVI values. Particularly notable are the lower values in western Kentucky and eastern Iowa. In Kentucky, corn is reported to be 58 percent good to excellent this year; last year the condition was 85 percent good to excellent.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 25-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for August 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that greatest increase in biomass production is in the Northern Plains. The greatest decrease is in southeastern Minnesota, eastern Iowa, and western Kentucky. Still, in Iowa the corn is about 8 days ahead of normal maturity and 75 percent good to excellent condition.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for August 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that highest NDVI values are in the central Corn Belt from eastern Nebraska to Ohio. The Pacific Northwest also has very high biomass activity.

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period August 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that one of the largest areas of decreased biomass production is in northern and central California. At the current time, this area is in exceptional drought. This is two categories more severe than the drought category last year at this time.

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 25-year average for the period August 5 – 18 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that California stands out as the area with the greatest expanse of below-average biomass production. Currently in California, 58 percent of the state is in exceptional drought while last year none of the state was in that category.

 

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