Australia: Landgate, an Australian government agency, prepared a map by using data from hundreds of satellite images to create yearly average soil moisture content for each agricultural area in Western Australia.
According to the map, while the eastern states battle floods, many farmers in the west are trying to grow crops in soil that is on average 20 per cent drier than in 2009. The red areas in the map, which include prime wheat-growing land, were calculated to be 20 to 30 per cent drier on average last year than in 2009.
Landgate manager of satellite remote sensing services Matt Adams said multiple thermal imaging was used to gauge the soil moisture at levels never previously achieved.
The bureau said last year was the driest in more than a century for the southern half of the state and many areas received half or less than half their normal average rainfall. Maximum temperatures were also the second-hottest on record.
Source: The Australian