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Measuring Soil Moisture

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Soil moisture prospects look hopeful in 3rd week of May.

The Government of Alberta released their Agricultural Moisture Situation update for May 9th, 2021. While this spring was cooler than normal, the report states that there is good potential for moisture coming this week.

The current dry conditions and cool weather led to low soil temperatures. Specifically, the Eastern & Southern regions have been experiencing less moisture than normal.

Last weekend’s rainfall, the first of the growing season, brought 10-20mm of moisture. However, regions like the north-east, north end of the Peace region, and parts of Central Alberta were the exceptions. The report says these regions had below normal precipitation since September 2020.

Recent rains helped to improve soil moisture, but large areas remain at below-average moisture conditions. The north-east & central regions are experiencing 1-in-50-year lows, and desperately need moisture to encourage pasture growth and keep soils from excessively blowing during seeding operations.

While pockets of Alberta are experiencing dry conditions, the Government of Alberta reported this averages out to a relatively normal weather pattern, given the time of year. 

While forecasts aren’t perfectly reliable, currently there’s a large chance of precipitation this coming week. Any amount of moisture is beneficial, as an inch of rain goes a long way at seeding time, especially on dryland farms.

Alberta Agricultural Moisture update
30-day precipitation accumulation relative to long-term normal
Alberta Agricultural Moisture update
The precipitation received map for May 06, 2021 – May 09, 2021