Tuesday snowfall helps Nebraska soil moisture - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Tuesday snowfall helps Nebraska soil moisture

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As snow continues to blanket portions of the Nebraska Panhandle, UNL Extension Educators say that the moisture will help improve the soil for farmers.

Over the past few years, the state was in extreme and exceptional drought. Those conditions have improved, and now only portions of the panhandle remain in 'abnormally dry' drought conditions.

Extension Educator Jim Schild says there is a need for moisture- especially in grassland areas where there was no moisture for most of the growing season.

He says that snowfall like today will help. "What we're doing is as it melts, it runs into the grounds and builds the soil moisture profile- which is a good thing. But two years of drought, you just don't make up in a few rainfall events or snowfall events."

Currently, the snowpack in the mountains is 116% above average. Schild says that March and April will be make-or-break for the amount of moisture that will be used for farmer's irrigation supply for the summer.

He also says that high winds in drier weather is causing stress on spruce, evergreen, and juniper trees. Farmers using those trees as windbreaks need to give supplemental water to prevent those trees from drying out.

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