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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: July 21 - August 3

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, assistant state climatologist:

Figure 1. The Vegetation Condition Report for Kansas for July 21 – August 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the highest biomass production is in eastern Kansas. High NDVI values in the Republican River Valley are evident, as well as in Brown and Doniphan counties. Favorable soil moisture has moderated the impact of the recent warm weather in these areas.

 

 

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for July 21 – August 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows parts of southwest and south central Kansas have lower photosynthetic activity. These areas did not have as much moisture in recent weeks as counties farther west. In contrast, the North Central Division has had more favorable conditions this year. Last year, the divisional average precipitation was just 32 percent of normal in July. This year the division averaged 101 percent of normal for July.

Figure 3. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for July 21 – August 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the state has at or above-average photosynthetic activity. The North Central and Northeastern Divisions have the greatest levels of above-average activity. This is partly due to favorable growing conditions and partly due to delayed crop development. This delay means more of the vegetation is in the most active growth period, rather than the reduced activity that comes as the crop matures.

 

 

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for July 21 – August 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the greatest photosynthetic activity is concentrated from northeastern Nebraska through Iowa and into Illinois. Favorable moisture conditions have resulted in increased photosynthetic activity. In Iowa, 83 percent of the corn is in good to excellent condition, while 79 percent of the soybeans are in good to excellent condition.

 

 

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period July 21 – August 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows the central portion of the region has much higher photosynthetic activity. This is partly due to a delay in development, with vegetation running later this year in maturity.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for July 21 – August 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows most of the region has average to above-average biomass production. Favorable growing conditions have prevailed for most of the season.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for July 21 – August 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the highest level of photosynthetic activity is centered in the Upper Midwest. Lower NDVI values are noticeable in the Southeastern U.S., where drought conditions are beginning to intensify.

 

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period July 21 – August 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that lower NDVI values are most evident in Montana. There was a slight reduction in northern California where drought persists. In southern California, there is a slight increase in vegetative activity due to summer rains. This does not mark an end to the intense drought in this region.

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 26-year average for the period July 21 – August 3 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the West continues to have lower-than-normal photosynthetic activity, while the central and eastern U.S. has generally higher-than-average values. There is a distinct gradient in the southeast, particularly from southern Alabama through South Carolina. This marks an area of expanding drought.  

 

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