Comparative Vegetation Condition Report: November 19 - December 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 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 November 19 – December 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the western half of the state had snow during this two-week composite period. Most of the snow occurred during the November 22-24 period, and amounts varied greatly. The highest totals were seen in southwest Kansas, where some locations had as much as 10 inches. Amounts in the eastern parts of the state were less than half an inch.

 

Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for November 19 – December 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the western parts of the state continue to have more favorable conditions. Only the Southwestern Division averaged above normal for November precipitation, while the East Central Division averaged less than 40 percent of normal for the month.

Figure 3. Compared to the 24-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for November 19 – December 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that conditions are very close to average. The Western Divisions are showing slightly better than average conditions while the Central Division is slightly below average.  Due to the very cold conditions that developed, most vegetation is now dormant.

Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for November 19 – December 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that a pocket of South Dakota missed out on the generally widespread snowfall. Snow amounts varied greatly. Southwest Kansas had as much as 10 inches, while Iowa totals were in the 3- to 4-inch range.

Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period November 19 – December 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that greatest increase is along the northern Great Lakes, while Missouri has the largest area of decreased activity. Along the northern Great Lakes, average snow cover at the midpoint of the period was half that of last year. For Missouri, the major difference has been an earlier onset of cooler temperatures.

 

Figure 6. Compared to the 24-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for November 19 – December 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that most of the region is close to normal. The largest gradient is along the northern portions of the region, and is divided by the areas that have average or better snow cover versus those with lower-than-average snow cover.

 

 

Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for November 19 – December 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that snow cover penetrated as far south as southwest Texas. In the Central Rockies, snow coverage has reached an extent of 91 percent, with an average amount of just more than 10 inches.

 

Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period November 19 – December 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that there is a major area of decreased vegetative activity in the Central Rockies. Snow cover is much more pervasive this year. Last year at this time, coverage was only 43 percent with an average depth of just 4.1 inches. This year, the average coverage is 91 percent and the average depth is more than 10 inches. 

Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 24-year average for the period November 19 – December 2 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the largest area of above-average biomass activity is in the Pacific Northwest and northern New England. In Washington, winter wheat conditions are reported to be 77 percent good to excellent, with range and pastures reported as 61 percent good to excellent.

 

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