Survey Shows Boost in Area Subsoil Moisture Levels

There’s been a recharge in northwest Iowa soil moisture this fall according to a survey by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

A total of 18 northwest Iowa locations are sampled. Each site selected has little or no water run-on and no ponding.

ISU Extension Field Agronomist Leah Ten Napel says the fall numbers are used a bit differently than those that are gathered in the spring…

The numbers released are inches of moisture available in the top five feet of soil. A moisture profile that’s considered to be “full” will contain about 11 inches of plant water.

There are 5.28 inches of available moisture at the sampling site in Newell, which is nearly four inches higher than last fall.

Moisture available at the site in Schaller is 6.70 inches, close to five inches more than last fall.

The site in Rolfe has 5.88 inches of available moisture, over four inches higher than last fall.

The sampling site in Battle Creek shows 4.79 inches of available moisture, over two inches more than last fall.

While subsoil moisture levels have improved, winter conditions such as precipitation and frost depth will affect how much moisture is able to infiltrate the soil profile by springtime.

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