Soils in Northland, Bay of Plenty, East Cape, Hawke’s Bay, and north Canterbury were at field capacity at the end of August following the heavy rain. The area of soils at less than field capacity in Marlborough was smaller than last month, but coastal soils had become drier and had less than 50 percent storage capacity. The situation in inland and south Canterbury and much of Otago also worsened during August.
In the North Island, soils in South Taranaki–Whanganui–Rangitikei were at less than field capacity.
Soil moisture deficit in the pasture root zone at the end of August (right) compared with the deficit at the same time last year (centre) and the long term end of August average (left). The analysis is done for an average soil type where the available water capacity is taken to be 150 mm.