Soil moisture

Soil moisture on 30 November

Soil moisture levels generally up on average

Soils in most regions of the North Island, and in the north, west, and south of the South Island, held generally high moisture levels at the end of November. The main point of contrast with last year at this time is in Marlborough, where soils were extremely dry a year ago.

Top soils in Canterbury received welcome moisture gains during the month, although total root zone storage was only average at the end of the month.

Total root zone soil moisture in parts of south Canterbury and Otago remained lower than average, although moisture in the top horizon aided high spring pasture growth in many areas.

Soil moisture deficit in the pasture root zone at the end of November (right) compared with the deficit at the same time last year (centre) and the long term end of November average (left). The analysis is done for an average soil type where the available water capacity is taken to be 150 mm.