At the end of February, total root zone soil moisture availability was down from average in the key livestock farming areas of Northland, Waikato and the central North Island, East Cape, Marlborough, south Canterbury, and North and Central Otago. Parts of Wairarapa were also drier than average.
In western Taranaki, parts of the west and southwest of the South Island, central and southern Hawke's Bay, and northern and mid Canterbury, soils were wetter than usual following above average February rainfalls in those areas.
Soil moisture deficit in the pasture root zone at the end of February (right) compared with the deficit at the same time last year (centre) and the long term end of February average (left). The analysis is done for an average soil type where the available water capacity is taken to be 150 mm.