Marlborough, south Canterbury, and Central Otago soils had not received normal winter recharge by the end of July. Soils in parts of these regions were much drier than usual at the end of the month, with deficits of more than half their available water capacity. Soils were at field capacity elsewhere in the South Island and in most of the North Island.
Soil moisture deficit in the pasture root zone at the end of July (right) compared with the deficit at the same time last year (centre) and the long term end of July average (left). The analysis is done for an average soil type where the available water capacity is taken to be 150 mm.