The amount of moisture within the root zone just prior to freeze-up provides a good indication of what can be expected in the spring. With snow cover and freezing temperatures, soil moisture content remains relatively stable throughout the winter. This is especially true in frozen moist soils whose pores become “sealed off”. During the last week of October and the first week of November 2014, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development collected soil samples from 105 sites across Agro-Manitoba.
Maps were created to determine available water (Figure 1) and soil moisture as a percent of available water holding capacity (Figure 2).
Figure 1: Available Moisture – mm of Water in the Root Zone (0 to 120cm)
Figure 2: Percent of Available Water Holding Capacity in the Root Zone (0 to 120cm)
Information on survey methodology, as well as additional maps from 2014 and previous years, is available on MAFRD’s website at: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/environment/soil-management/manitoba-fall-soil-moisture-survey.html