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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 May 19 – June 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that photosynthetic activity has increased in north central Kansas. Precipitation has also returned to the area, though not to the degree that it has in the rest of the state.
Figure 2. Compared to the previous year at this time for Kansas, the current Vegetation Condition Report for May 19 – June 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows much of the state has higher NDVI values. There are areas of lower photosynthetic activity in the central and eastern portions of the state, where wet soils and cooler-than-average temperatures have resulted in delayed planting and uneven emergence of spring planted crops.
Figure 3. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for Kansas, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for May 19 – June 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that biomass production in mostly below average. This departure is greatest in the eastern half of the state where wet conditions have slowed planting and delayed emergence of spring planted crops.
Figure 4. The Vegetation Condition Report for the Corn Belt for May 19 – June 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that areas of low biomass production continue to shrink. The greatest biomass production continues in the eastern parts of the region, particularly in Kentucky, where temperatures and precipitation levels have been most favorable for production.
Figure 5. The comparison to last year in the Corn Belt for the period May 19 – June 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows most of the region with the same or higher NDVI values. In the western portion of the Corn Belt, there is an area of much lower productivity centered around the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Figure 6. Compared to the 26-year average at this time for the Corn Belt, this year’s Vegetation Condition Report for May 19 – June 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows lower-than-average NDVI values across South Dakota, eastern Nebraska, and into Kansas and Missouri. The rapid switch from drought to excess moisture has slowed plant development.
Figure 7. The Vegetation Condition Report for the U.S. for May 19 – June 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows that the highest NDVI values are in the mid-Atlantic region, particularly in Kentucky, the Virginias, and North Carolina. Lower biomass production is present in the Ohio River Valley and parts of the Plains. Wet soils and flooding are a problem in parts of Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska. Cooler soil temperatures are a problem in western Nebraska and western South Dakota. Soil temperatures there are still in the 50s.
Figure 8. The U.S. comparison to last year at this time for the period May 19 – June 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows lower biomass production in the Northern Rockies and the Southern Plains. Excess moisture in the Plains and late snow in the mountains are the major factors in the reduction.
Figure 9. The U.S. comparison to the 26-year average for the period May 19 – June 1 from K-State’s Ecology and Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory shows below-average biomass production in the Southern Plains and the Northern Rockies. Heavy rains and flooding have continued to reduce productivity in the Southern Plains, while drought conditions have reduced biomass production in the West. Out-of-season rainfall has allowed for some growth in the foothills of California, but that hasn’t relieved the larger drought issues in the state.
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
Kevin Price, Professor Emeritus, Agronomy and Geography, Remote Sensing, GIS
Nan An, Graduate Research Assistant, Ecology & Agriculture Spatial Analysis Laboratory (EASAL)