The unusually high moisture content of recent snows may have amounted to more than 2 inches of water added to Marion County soil when it melts, according to both county extension agent Rickey Roberts and the U.S. Weather Service.
The two snowfalls over the county probably averaged 20 inches or more, Roberts said. But he thought it would be difficult to know for sure due to the uneven drifting.
Roberts said the moisture, added to the 1.5-inch rain received over the county earlier in the month, will probably result in the topsoil being well-filled for wheat growth, pasture growth and corn planting.
“It will really help a lot for planting all of the spring crops, and especially help increase wheat yields.”
The main problems remaining, he said, are getting more moisture into the subsoil for supporting sustained growth, and getting more rain for run-off into pasture ponds.
“The subsoil is still pretty dry, and needs replenishing,” Roberts said. “A lot of people took advantage of the dry weather to re-dig pasture ponds, but they need the runoff now to refill them.
“This will help spring grass, but we need more rain to sustain it. Those are my biggest concerns.”