Return of the Soil Moisture in Illinois

The natural rhythm of soil moisture in Illinois is to be abundant in spring (sometimes to the point of water standing in fields), followed by a prolonged draw-down during the growing season. Historically, soils are usually at their driest at the end of August and early September. However, soil moisture begins to recover in the September/October time frame as the temperatures cool and crops are harvested, even if rains are below average.

We are seeing some recovery in soil moisture now, according to our soil moisture network maintained at the Illinois State Water Survey. Here is the average soil moisture in the top 20 inches, expressed as a percent of what we saw on June 1 when soil moisture was very high. In other words, values near 100% show a near full recovery while values less than 100% need more rain to recover.

  • Belleville: 88%
  • Big Bend: 93%
  • Bondville: 57%
  • Brownstown: 68%
  • Champaign: 75%
  • Carbondale: 52%
  • DeKalb: 75%
  • Dixon Springs: 106%
  • Fairfield: 89%
  • Freeport: 86%
  • Monmouth: 55%
  • Olney: 78%
  • Peoria: 87%
  • Perry: 47%
  • Springfield: 67%
  • Stelle: 71%
  • St. Charles: 58%
  • Rend Lake: 71%
Advertisements