News

Soy next to forest in Mato Grosso, Brazil

Mato Grosso Land Cover

June 14, 2017 in Agriculture, Amazon, Cerrado, Cotton, Deforestation, Intensification, Land Cover Mapping, Land Use Change, Mato Grosso, MODIS, NDVI, Remote sensing, Soybeans, Sugarcane

Mato Grosso is a frontier in the sense that natural vegetation, both rainforest and savanna, known as cerrado, are being replaced with crop production and other agricultural uses. Mechanized agriculture moved rapidly into the area in the 1990s, with soybeans the dominant crop. Since then, crop production increases have come about through both cropland expansion (horizontal intensification) and a transition from predominantly single-cropping to mostly double-cropping (vertical intensification). In July 2006, the Soy Moratorium was implemented with the purpose of reducing Amazon deforestation for the purpose of soy production.

Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data from the Moderate ...
Western Kansas Potential Playa Areas (image by Jude Kastens)

Kansas Playas

June 8, 2017 in kansas playas, LIDAR, Playa, PLJV probable playa, Potential playa area, PPA, Topographic Wetland Identification Process, TWIP, Wetlands

Prior to European settlement in the 1800s, the Kansas landscape was home to thousands of wetlands. In addition to providing habitat, sustenance and freshwater to indigenous and migratory wildlife, wetlands naturally provide additional services including surface water treatment, groundwater recharge and flood mitigation. While many Kansas wetlands remain intact, most have been altered through cultivation and other landscape and drainage modifications, and as a consequence, their ecological and hydrological functions have been compromised. Recent recognition and appreciation of the vital services provided by wetlands, from playa wetlands in the west to emergent wetlands in the east, has led to increased ...
Flax and other cover crops in an experimental plot in northwest Kansas (picture by Jude Kastens)

The 2017 Growing Season Gets Off to a Good Start

April 25, 2017 in Agriculture, Corn, Crop yield, Drought, Greenness, GreenReport, Growing Season, NDVI, Research, Satellite imagery, Soybeans, Weather, Wheat

April 2017 – In collaboration with commercial partners TerraMetrics Agriculture, Inc. (TMAI)(TMAI) of Lawrence and Planalytics of Berwyn, PA, the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program recently released the GreenReport® and Crop Yield Forecast schedule for 2017. The GreenReport® was launched on March 15, and crop yield forecasting began March 22 with winter wheat. Corn and soybean yield forecasting will start on May 31.

The 2017 growing season marks our 16th year of satellite-based, real time crop yield forecasting for the nation.

Prior to last year, the record US winter wheat yield stood at 47.8 bu/ac, which ...

Council Grove Reservoir, Morris County, Kansas. Picture by Scott Campbell.

KARS makes available the Kansas Lakes and Reservoirs Data Repository Portal

September 29, 2014 in Chemistry, Kansas, kansas lakes, Lakes, Repository, Reservoir, Water

The Kansas Biological Survey and the Kansas Water Office have combined efforts to make available online the Kansas Lakes and Reservoirs Data Repository Portal, which can be found here.

The mission of the Kansas Lakes and Reservoirs Data Repository Portal is to serve as central point for users to obtain current and historical data about Kansas lakes and reservoirs. Rather than serving as a data repository, the portal is a dynamic connection to directly access datasets housed and maintained by various agencies and groups. The portal brings these datasets into a mapping application for direct viewing and data ...

Western Governors' Association Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool, 2013

KU and KBS are key partners in creation of new West-wide Crucial Habitat service

December 12, 2013 in Agriculture, Aquatic habitat, Corridors, Crucial Habitat, Energy resources, Fish and Game, Grasslands, Habitat, Impact, Land cover, Land use, Oil and Gas, Prairie, Protected areas, Remote sensing, Reservoir, Rivers, Sensitive species, Terrestrial habitat, Transmission Lines, Vertical Structures, Watersheds, Wetland and riparian, WGA, WGA CHAT, Wildlife, Wind Turbines

For the last three years, the Western Governors Association (WGA) has been working with state wildlife agencies to create a standardized map of Crucial Habitat across the western United States to inform energy, transportation, and land use planning decisions at a regional scale. A collaborative effort of this scope between state wildlife agencies has not been accomplished before, and this effort represents a huge step forward in identifying landscapes that provide important resources to wildlife.

Two units of the Kansas Biological Survey at the University of Kansas worked closely with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) ...

Kansas Natural Resource Planner update, 2013

Kansas Natural Resource Planner (NRP) receives major update

December 11, 2013 in Agriculture, Aquatic habitat, Conservation, Corridors, Crucial Habitat, Energy resources, Fish and Game, Grasslands, Habitat, Impact, Kansas, Land cover, Land use, Lepc, Lesser prairie-chicken, Native plants, Oil and Gas, Prairie, Protected areas, Reservoir, Rivers, Sensitive species, Terrestrial habitat, Transmission Lines, Vertical Structures, Watersheds, Wetland and riparian, WGA CHAT, Wildlife, Wind Turbines

The Kansas Biological Survey and Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program are pleased to announce the release of a new and updated version of the Kansas Natural Resource Planner (NRP). The online mapping application combines relevant natural resource data and infrastructure data together in an online mapping environment to help users make informed decisions. The new NRP is the result of a collaborative effort between KBS and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to provide an interactive mapping website that can be used to assist in the planning of energy and conservation projects so that Kansas can benefit from ...
Sample impact areas associated with an array of wind turbines.

KARS creates online tool for habitat impact assessments

December 9, 2013 in Agriculture, Bioassessment, Colorado, Conservation, Crucial Habitat, Grasslands, Great Plains, Habitat, Impact, Kansas, Land cover, Land use, Lepc, Lesser prairie-chicken, New Mexico, Oil and Gas, Oklahoma, Prairie, SGP CHAT, Texas, Transmission Lines, Vertical Structures, WGA, Wildlife, Wind Turbines

The KARS Program and the Kansas Biological Survey have added new online geo-processing tools to help energy developers estimate potential new landscape impact associated with oil/gas, wind, and electric transmission lines. The tools are part of the Southern Great Plains Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (SGP CHAT) and are in support of the Lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) Range-Wide Conservation Plan that aims to conserve the species and preclude its listing as a Threatened species. In accordance with the Range Wide Plan, enrolled participants who, through the creation of new oil/gas wells, wind turbines, transmission lines…, negatively impact LPC habitat are assessed a ...

Lesser prairie-chicken picture ©2010 Nicholas Richter. Used with permission. [source]

KARS Launches Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool Version 2

August 6, 2013 in Colorado, Conservation, Corridors, Grasslands, Great Plains, Habitat, Kansas, Lepc, Lesser prairie-chicken, Maximum entropy, Modeling, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Prairie, Texas, wga

In cooperation with the five state fish and wildlife agencies that fall within the range of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (LEPC), and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), the KARS program has launched version 2.0 of the Southern Great Plains Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (SGP CHAT), which can be found here. The online map viewer hosts the SGP CHAT, which is the spatial representation of the LEPC range-wide conservation plan, and a tool that prioritizes conservation actions while assisting with the siting of industry development. Through the identification of a network of core LEPC habitat areas (Focal ...

Winter wheat in corn stalks. Picture by Dietrich Kastens.

The 2013 Growing Season Has Begun!

March 20, 2013 in Agriculture, Corn, Crop yield, Drought, Greenness, GreenReport, Growing Season, NDVI, Research, Satellite imagery, Soybeans, Weather, Wheat

March 2013 – In collaboration with commercial partners TerraMetrics Agriculture, Inc. (TMAI) of Lawrence, KS and Planalytics of Berwyn, PA, the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program recently released the GreenReport® and Crop Yield Forecast schedule for 2013. The GreenReport® will be launched on March 21, and crop yield forecasting will begin one week later.

The 2012 growing season provided a roller coaster for agriculture. An early spring led to record early plantings for corn and soybeans. Crop potential was high. However, by mid-year, drought conditions were tightening their grip across the central Great Plains and Midwest, taking a ...

Chris Bishop, Alex Coutinho, and Júlio Esquerdo examine a satellite view of Mato Grosso.

Brazilian Collaborators Visit KU to Talk Agriculture

January 17, 2013 in Agriculture, Brazil, Corn, Crop yield, Double Crop, Greenness, Growing Season, Land cover, Mato Grosso, MODIS, NDVI, Research, Satellite imagery, Soybeans, Sugarcane, Weather

January 16, 2013 – For one week in December, Alexandre Camargo Coutinho and Júlio César D. M. Esquerdo of the Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research, or EMBRAPA, met face-to-face with their KU colleagues as part of a long-standing partnership between the two institutions that dates back to 2005. Most of this time was spent at KARS, where Alex, Júlio, Chris Brown (Environmental Studies), Jude Kastens (KBS/KARS), and Chris Bishop (Environmental Studies/KARS) discussed ongoing and future research and product development plans.

The discussions focused on mapping the rapidly changing agricultural landscape of Mato Grosso (Brazil’s primary soybean producing state) through time. ...