Soil moisture

Diminished deficits

End of April soil moisture deficits in eastern regions of the South Island, and in Hawke’s Bay and Northland, were largely overcome during May. Parts of Otago remained at less than 50% total root zone moisture storage at the end of the month, although conditions were generally better than at the same time last year.


Soil moisture deficit in the pasture root zone at the end of May (right) compared with the deficit at the same time last year (centre) and the long-term end of May average (left). The analysis is done for an average soil type where the available water capacity is taken to be 150 mm.