Soil moisture

Dry soils in the north

Soil moisture levels were well below normal in much of the North Island at the end of February. The northeast coast of the South Island was also drier than normal. Otago soils had near normal moisture, while Southland moisture levels were higher than normal.


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