Soil moisture deficits have a long way to go

Farmers across the country were hoping for some rain over the weekend and while some areas of the country received heavy downpours more received only trickles of rainfall. Soils are still in need of a lot of moisture to boost growth and relieve stress on crops.

In good news, soil moisture deficits (SMDs) have shown improvements in some parts of the country, even if only small. However, other areas have remained unchanged or changed very little.

Data source: Met Éireann

According to figures from June 14, moisture is needed most in the midlands and towards the south-east of the country. Oak Park weather station in Co. Carlow has a deficit of 78mm of rain on well-drained soils. Poorly-drained soils in the region are 81mm in deficit.

Counties Cork and Kerry remain the least affected, but still have SMD readings of between 27mm and 46mm across all soil types.

Rainfall levels

Over the seven days from June 8 to June 14, a small number of Met Éireann weather stations recorded close to or above average rainfall. Where significant amounts of rain fell the difference could clearly be seen in the SMD readings.

Rainfalls as a percentage of the average from June 8 to June 14:
  • Ballyhaise – 35%;
  • Belmullet – 25%;
  • Gurteen – 21%;
  • Casement – 141%;
  • Claremorris – 10%;
  • Cork Airport – 101%;
  • Dublin Airport – 99%;
  • Johnstown Castle – 129%;
  • Knock Airport – 24%;
  • Malin Head – 48%;
  • Mullingar – 45%;
  • Oak Park – 34%;
  • Roches Point – 96%;
  • Shannon Airport – 102%;
  • Valentia – 87%.

SMDs compared to the start of the month

On June 2, SMD readings – displayed in the table below – of between 80mm and 83mm were reported in the east of the country at Casement Aerodrome and Dublin Airport. These readings were between 63mm and 70mm on June 12.

Data source: Met Éireann

SMDs at Malin Head, Co. Donegal, were unchanged since June 2 on well and moderately-drained soil and changed only slightly on poorly-drained soils in the same time period.

SMDs along the west coast improved in the same period, but all soils are in need of rain across the country.