Soil moisture deficits move towards field capacity

Field conditions are becoming extremely tough, especially for tillage farmers with crops left to harvest. Many farmers are also struggling to keep animals at grass full-time.

AgriLand took a look at the soil moisture deficits (SMDs) provided by Met Éireann for Sunday (September 6).

Poorly-drained soils are now over field capacity in many cases, while well and moderately-drained soils are moving towards capacity.

Well-drained soils

Well-drained soils in the north-west, west and midlands are just 1-3mm away from field capacity, while many well-drained soils in the south are 10mm away from this mark.

Moderately-drained soils

Moderately-drained soils follow a similar trend with soils in the east of the country 3-6mm away from field capacity, and soils in the south and south-east of the country 10mm away from field capacity.

Image source: Met Éireann

Poorly-drained soils

Poorly-drained soils are above field capacity in many areas.

In parts of the west and north-west, poorly drained soils are near to saturation point at -9mm; while at the other end of the country in the south-east poorly-drained soils are 2mm away from field capacity.

Rainfall levels

Rainfall levels were all above the average for the time of year as can be seen in the data from Met Éireann below.

The west and east of the country received the highest levels of rainfall. Claremorris received 199% of the average rainfall for the time of year over the seven-day period from August 31 to September 6.

Rainfalls as a percentage of the average from August 31 to September 6:
  • Ballyhaise – 156%;
  • Belmullet – 138;
  • Gurteen – 79%;
  • Casement – 117%;
  • Claremorris – 199%;
  • Cork Airport – 65%;
  • Dublin Airport – 190%;
  • Johnstown Castle – 35%;
  • Knock Airport – 133%;
  • Malin Head – 160%;
  • Mullingar – 166%;
  • Oak Park – 77%;
  • Roches Point – 49%;
  • Shannon Airport – 51%;
  • Valentia – 71%.