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An Interactive Look at Soil Moisture

February 12, 2013
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor

A lot of rain is needed to replenish the majority of farm country, according to a recent Farm Journal Pulse.

The drought of 2012 has blown into 2013. Exceptional and extreme drought conditions continue to plague much of the western Corn Belt, from the Dakotas to Texas.

Soil moisture levels will be watched closely and evaluated as spring draws near.

A recent Farm Journal Pulse asked: How many inches of rain are needed to fully recharge your soil moisture?

Here’s a breakdown of the results:

  • 1-2 inches: 6%
  • 3-4 inches: 10%
  • 5-6 inches: 16%
  • 7-8 inches: 12%
  • 9+ inches: 43%
  • None: 12%


See the results on an interactive map:

Pulse 2 7 13

Just fewer than 50% of the 1,300 respondents reported needing 9" or more of rain to fully replenish soil moisture, while 12% need between 7" and 8". Only 12% responded that their soil moisture is adequate.

A quick glance at the interactive map shows the driest areas to be in the Midwest and West, while the eastern U.S.’s soil moisture has recharged.

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