East coast soils were generally drier than normal by the end of October. Particularly dry for this time of year were Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, south Canterbury, and parts of coastal and inland Otago. Root zone soil moisture availability in Marlborough was at typical December levels.
North Taranaki and western Waikato soils were wetter than normal, and Southland soils also had high moisture content.
Soil moisture deficit in the pasture root zone at the end of October (right) compared with the deficit at the same time last year (centre) and the long term end of October average (left). The analysis is done for an average soil type where the available water capacity is taken to be 150 mm.