The soil moisture deficit around the country has continued to rise with rainfall amounts running below average for the month.
Soil moisture deficits are above 40mm in parts of Munster and Connacht according to latest figures from Met Éireann. Other parts of the country have deficits between 20mm and 30mm.
A soil moisture deficit greater than 25mm to 30mm is equal to one inch of rain and growth rates will be impacted in areas where deficits are above this. Parts of Limerick and Clare have a deficit greater than 51mm which is equivalent to two inches of rain, growth rates here will be significantly reduced.
Nationwide, the average deficit is 33mm for moderately drained soils. Based on historical data between 1980 and 2010 the average soil moisture for May is 20mm.
Current figures from PastureBase Ireland show grass growth rates above 60kg DM/ha/day in all counties, highest in Donegal (74kg DM/ha/day) and lowest in Mayo and Offaly (61kg DM/ha/day).
Over the past seven days rainfall amounts have been below average. For most of the country amounts ranged from 10-15% of average. Parts of Ulster and Connacht received rainfall amounts 50-70% of average.
According to the latest forecast from Met Éireann, rainfall amounts will continue to be below average in the eastern half of the country. However, Monday and Tuesday should see average amounts return to the west.
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