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. ...

Crop Condition Rankings as of July 22, 2012

U. S. Corn & Soybean Crops Reeling from Drought

July 27, 2012 in Agriculture, Corn, Crop yield, Disaster, Drought, Emergency, Forcasting, Greenness, GreenReport, Growing Season, NDVI, Research, Satellite imagery, Soybeans, Weather, Wheat

July 27, 2012 – According to the July 24 update of the UNL Drought Monitor, more than 80% of the conterminous U.S. was experiencing abnormally dry conditions or worse, and more than 20% was classified in the two highest drought categories (“Extreme” & “Exceptional”). Nearly all of the Midwestern Corn Belt is included in the Drought area, with the vast majority of the region classified as “Severe” or worse.

Now that we are firmly into the back side of the 2012 growing season, the “Great Drought of 2012” has clearly taken its toll on the U.S. corn & soybean crops. ...

Soybeans in Milo Stalks. Picture by Dietrich Kastens.

The 2012 Growing Season Has Begun!

March 6, 2012 in Agriculture, Corn, Crop yield, Drought, Greenness, GreenReport, Growing Season, NDVI, Research, Satellite imagery, Soybeans, Weather, Wheat

March 2012 – In collaboration with commercial partners TerraMetrics Agriculture, Inc. (TMAI) of Lawrence and Planalytics of Berwyn, PA, the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program recently released the GreenReport® and Crop Yield Forecast schedule for 2012. Both products will be launched on March 21.

Using satellite imagery to measure plant vigor across the conterminous U.S., the GreenReport® is published weekly by KARS during the March-October growing period. Current conditions are related to the previous week, the previous year, and the 1989-2011 historical average. To enhance the value of the GreenReport® maps, Planalytics agribusiness meteorologists provide critical insight ...

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

KARS Launches Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool

October 27, 2011 in Wildlife

In coordination with wildlife agencies in five states, the KARS program launched the Southern Great Plains Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (SGP CHAT) September 1 as part of a multi-year effort to develop a habitat assessment tool for wind and natural gas energy developers. The project, initiated by the Western Governors Wildlife Council, aims to conserve lesser prairie-chicken habitat in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Additional species and functionality will be added in future phases of the project.

View the Southern Great Plains Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool here.

KARS Recreates a Texas Flood

November 9, 2010 in Flooding

UPDATED 10 Nov 2010 -- KARS researchers Kevin Dobbs & Jude Kastens went on a road trip to Austin, Texas, during the last week of October 2010. Their mission was to attend the 2010 Texas GIS Forum organized by the Texas Natural Resources Information System (TNRIS), which took place at the U. of Texas campus on October 27-28. On October 28, Dr. Kastens delivered a presentation entitled “Reconstructing the Texas Flood of 1938.” Co-presenters were Kevin Dobbs and Melinda Luna (of TNRIS).

During July 1938, intense rainfall across several counties in central Texas produced record flooding along ...

KBS Researchers Attend MAGIC Conference

April 14, 2010 in Flooding, Land cover, Presentations, Research, Rivers, Satellite imagery, Watersheds

Four KBS researchers made presentations at the MidAmerica GIS Consortium (MAGIC) Symposium April 18-22 in Kansas City. Presentations were as follows:

Kevin Dobbs--Evaluation of NED Elevation Data and the FLDPLN Model for Inundation Extent
Jude Kastens--Mapping Potential Flood Extents in Eastern Kansas
Dana Peterson--The Kansas Land Use/Land Cover Mapping Initiative
Brad Williams--Assessing Ecological Differences among Hydrogeomorphically Distinct Patches within the Kansas River Watershed

The MidAmerica GIS Consortium is a non-profit education organization established to foster the applications of geographic information systems (GIS) and related spatial technologies in the mid-continent region. The Consortium sponsors not only the MAGIC Symposium but ...

Combine harvesting winter wheat in northwest Kansas

KARS Forecasts 2010 Crop Yields

March 5, 2010 in Crop yield, GreenReport, Research, Satellite imagery

UPDATED 5 Mar 2010 -- Planalytics of Berwyn, PA, recently released their crop yield forecast schedule for 2010, beginning with winter wheat on March 26. These forecasts, which are based on the same satellite imagery used in The GreenReport, are regularly updated throughout the growing season and cover the conterminous U.S. at agricultural district (ASD), state, and national scales. Forecasting for seven additional crops (including corn and soybeans) will begin on June 4.

Planalytics crop yield forecasts are produced using models developed at KARS and are provided to Planalytics through commercial partner TerraMetrics Agriculture, Inc. (TMAI) of ...

Graphic from an HIU analysis of population movement out of Port-au-Prince

Haiti Earthquake Disaster Portal

January 14, 2010 in Haiti, Humanitarian

UPDATED 29 Jan 2010 -- The KARS program has been working to develop the Haiti Earthquake Disaster Portal, a website designed to help share geographic data with humanitarian organizations and the public.

Kansas Land Cover Patterns 2005 data released

November 12, 2009 in Ecological forecasting, Land cover

KARS is pleased to announce the release of the Level IV classification of the Kansas Land Cover Patterns 2005 (KLCP2005) map. This second phase of KLCP2005 contains a significantly more detailed analysis of the Kansas landscape. Utilizing 23 composite MODIS satellite scenes from 2005, this dataset displays the distribution of several agricultural crops, irrigation status, and grassland types. This dataset is an important resource for many scientific researchers, including those focused on ecology, agronomy, economics, and water resources.

Additional information about the project can be found on the KLCP2005 Level IV research page.

Visit the KLCP2005 ...

Kansas Flood Depth Mapping

November 6, 2009 in Flooding, Land cover, Satellite imagery

Severe, widespread flooding in southeast Kansas in 2007 resulted in a Federal Disaster Declaration in 20 counties. Researchers at the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program (KARS), a research unit of the Kansas Biological Survey, helped gather and interpret satellite and airborne imagery for this event, with the objective of identifying areas impacted by floodwater.

KARS scientists were able to provide valuable, post-event information to communities and state agencies, but limitations of imaging systems (such as cloud obstruction and delayed timings of overflights) exposed a critical information gap--the State had no capability for real-time estimation of floodwater extent. This information is ...