Current Soil Moisture Levels

Jarrod O. Miller, Extension Agronomist, jarrod@udel.edu

 

Current soil moisture levels nearby your fields can be found on DEOS, although fields can vary by soil type, topographic position, and whether the last storm was ½ mile away. Last year, we had a significant drought period across Delaware, which is obvious in Georgetown (Figure 1), where soil moisture was below 0.1 for most of the month of June. This year some rainfall near the beginning of the month brough us back to decent levels, but we have quickly reached dry conditions in our sandier Sussex County soils. Be sure to track your soil moisture and check irrigation scheduling to keep your corn from being stressed as we approach tasseling.

Figure 1. Soil temperatures (a) and soil moisture (b) in Georgetown since April 1st.

Figure 1. Soil temperatures (a) and soil moisture (b) in Georgetown since April 1st.

 

 

Conditions across DE are not much different from 2020, although some regions have it a little worse. The border of Kent County, DE and Caroline County, MD have the driest conditions this year. Once again, New Castle County is receiving the bulk of the rainfall, and heavier textured soils can hold the moisture. Considering that this is an important time for grain pollination, checking fields for soil moisture content is very important.

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