Moderate soil moisture deficits continued, particularly in eastern regions, but rainfall brought some relief to Waikato and King Country. Conditions in much of the North Island were near or just below average at the end of March
Significant soil moisture deficits in Otago have now spread to parts of inland south Canterbury, central Marlborough and the Canterbury Plains. Regions east of the ranges were drier than average by the end of March, but the situation was not as severe as at the same time last year.
Soil moisture deficit in the pasture root zone at the end of March (right) compared with the deficit at the same time last year (centre) and the long term end of March average (left). The analysis is done for an average soil type where the available water capacity is taken to be 150 mm.