Work continues to be halted on saturated soil

Persistent wet conditions have left a lot of work undone. Fields have yet to be ploughed and the majority of spring sowing has to be started. Furthermore, very little fertiliser spreading or spraying has been carried out.

April has begun with wet days and heavy showers. No one needs to be told that land is wet, but just how wet is it?

Soil moisture deficits are a measure of how much rain is needed to bring the soil moisture content back to field capacity. While the majority of farmers will know that ground can’t be travelled in the majority of places, not to mention being ploughed or tilled, AgriLand thought you might like some official figures.

A large amount of land is officially saturated. Saturation point is reached when the soil moisture deficit is at -10mm (a water surplus of 10mm).

The figures below show the soil moisture deficit readings for well-drained; moderately-drained; and poorly-drained soils.

Well-drained soils are at field capacity across the country, with soil moisture deficit readings of 0. Moderately-drained soils are ranging between 0 and -10. The majority of poorly-drained soils have a soil moisture deficit reading of -10, while some are slightly lower at -8 and -9.

 Rainfall in March

Average rainfall levels in March were above the 20 year average figure in most stations. A selection of station data is displayed below.

Data source: Met Éireann