Soil moisture levels decrease…small bits of field work done

Little drying has occurred this week as fog and light rain prevented soil conditions from improving. However, there are parts of the country where work was done. Ploughs were out and patches of winter wheat were planted in the past week, but in the drier areas.

A few days of dry weather will help to move things along as a stretch comes in the evenings. However, rain and snow are in the forecast. Soil moisture deficit (SMD) figures from Met Éireann for Wednesday, January 22, are outlined below.

The SMD is the amount of rain needed to bring the soil back to field capacity. An SMD of -10 means that the soil is at saturation point.

Well-drained and moderately drained soils are now below field capacity in many cases, while poorly drained soils are still extremely wet.

The majority of well-drained soils are 1mm below field capacity, while the driest soils with an SMD of 2 are located in counties Kildare, Kerry, Mayo and Donegal. SMDs at Oak Park, Co. Carlow, are at field capacity.

Data source: Met Éireann

Moderately drained soils tell a similar story to well-drained soils. However, poorly drained soils have SMD levels of -7 and -6.

Again the driest areas are along the coast in counties Cork, Kerry, Mayo and Donegal. The wettest soils in the poorly drained category are in the south east. Met Éireann’s data shows SMDs of -7 in Co. Carlow and Co. Wexford.

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