Victorian soil profiles drying out

By Dairy News

SOIL MOISTURE levels are varying across Victoria, including in the north, with full information detailed in the latest Soil Moisture Monitoring newsletter.

Central Victoria and the north east have crops with high water demands and have consumed all this season’s moisture following below-average August rainfall.

There are a wide range of residual moisture levels across the region.

August rainfall totals supported crop growth, but in the north, soil moisture is now being actively used by crops.

Wet south-west crops have deep soil moisture reserves and to date have not had to use it, as rainfall has met crop demands.

Good moisture conditions still exist in the Wimmera and Southern Mallee. Crops that look great and have high yield potentials also have large biomass with a high-water requirement.

The Mallee is drying out quickly with a below-average decile August, but crops are well advanced and seeking the last of residual moisture.

The monitored paddock in the Werrimull has no crop, having received only 53 mm GSR.

Those paddocks that started the season with no moisture have crops showing signs of stress while paddocks with summer rain plus weed control have crops that are mining the deeper moisture reserves where they exist.

Hay versus grain decisions will be analysed on a paddock by paddock basis during the second half of September. Crops following hay last year are performing better this year than grain on grain in this region.

For more detailed information on Soil Moisture Levels and the latest report, visit