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  4. »eUpdate 492 February 6th, 2015»Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: January 20 - February 2

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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: January 20 - February 2

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 26-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 January 20 – February 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the south central and southeastern parts of the state missed on the snow. Warmer-than-average temperatures for the period resulted in much of the moisture coming as rain.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for January 20 – February 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there is a splice line over Wabaunsee County giving the appearance of  much lower NDVI values than is actually the case. Vegetative activity is slightly lower than last year, due to snow cover in the area. 

Figure 3. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for January 20 – February 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that south central Kansas has the greatest increase in NDVI readings. This is particularly true in Sumner and Harper counties, where mild temperatures and above normal moisture favored above-average photosynthetic activity.

 

 

 

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for January 20 – February 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that only a small portion of the region centered on southern Missouri missed on the snow cover. Most vegetation is still dormant.

 

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period January 20 – February 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows an area from southeastern North Dakota through southern Ohio with much higher NDVI values. This is largely due to much lower snow cover in this region compared to last year. The greatest snow depth for the period at Columbus, Ohio was 6 inches last year. This year the greatest snow depth during the period was only 3 inches.

Figure 6. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for January 20 – February 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the lack of snow cover continues to result in above-average NDVI readings. In contrast, northern Ohio, which has had higher snowfall, also has below-average NDVI readings.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for January 20 – February 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the Southern Rockies into the Texas Panhandle continues to have snow, while the mountains of the Pacific Northwest continue to miss out.

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period January 20 – February 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that higher NDVI readings are most visible along the Upper Midwest and through Central California. This is largely due to lack of snow in these areas, and is an ongoing concern for worsening drought in the regions.

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 26-year average for the period January 20 – February 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that from the Pacific Northwest through the Northern Plains there is much higher-than-normal NDVI readings. Lack of snow, which provides runoff through the summer, is of increasing concern. The lower-than-normal NDVI values from northern Ohio east to the New Jersey shore are an indication of higher-than-normal snow levels. Flooding is an ongoing concern in these areas.

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