Kansas State University

  1. K-State Home
  2. »Agronomy Home
  3. »K-State Agronomy eUpdates
  4. »eUpdate 428 November 1st, 2013»Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: October 15 - 28

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: October 15 - 28

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 24-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 Kevin Price at kpprice@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 October 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that a small area of snow was seen in western Kansas, but that melted quickly. The area of greatest photosynthetic activity is along the Kansas River in northeast Kansas. Olathe first saw sub-freezing temperatures on the 24th of October, while Salina dropped below freezing on the 19th. Tribune had freezing temperatures on the 5th of October.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for October 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that biomass production is greater across most of the state. There is an area of reduced production in Hodgeman and Ness counties and in Crawford and Bourbon counties in southeast Kansas.

Figure 3. Compared to the 24-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for October 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there is above-average photosynthetic activity in center third of the state, from Wallace County in the west to Ellsworth County in central Kansas. There is a second area of above-normal photosynthetic activity from Butler County along the I-35 corridor to Wyandotte County in northeast Kansas. The combination of favorable moisture and temperatures fueled plant activity in these areas.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for October 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the second winter storm of the season left its mark on the northern areas of the region. Sturgis, SD had about 6 inches of snow during the period, while Huron, SD (in the eastern part of the state) had about an inch. Meanwhile, freezing temperatures didn’t penetrate the southeastern sections of the Corn Belt until the end of the period.  In fact, Cairo, MO has yet to drop below the freezing mark.

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period October 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the region has much greater photosynthetic activity. Minnesota currently only has 25 percent of the area in moderate drought or worse. Last year, almost the entire state was in moderate drought  or worse, with 25 percent in extreme drought.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 24-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for October 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that in the biggest area of below-average productivity is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Cool, wet conditions have limited activity in that region. There is also a small area of below-average biomass production in western South Dakota. This matches the area of extreme snowfall in early October.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for October 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that early season snow has been a factor in the Mountain West, as far south as northern New Mexico. The greatest productivity is along the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast.

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period October 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the Northern Plains has the biggest increase in biomass production. Last year almost 37 percent of North Dakota was in severe drought during this period, while this year more than 92 percent of the state is drought-free. 

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 24-year average for the period October 15 – 28 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the continental U.S. is close to the long-term average. Upper New England has the biggest decrease.

Mary Knapp, Agronomy, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu          

Kevin Price, Agronomy and Geography, Remote Sensing, Natural Resources, GIS
kpprice@ksu.edu

Nan An, Graduate Research Assistant, Ecology & Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory (EASAL)
nanan@ksu.edu