The dry, scorching weather is taking its toll on Central Illinois' corn crop .
The area is several inches below normal rainfall, which has produced abnormally dry conditions.
That's one step below drought.
Many farmers are worried.
It's been a long stretch of dry weather and corn plants are suffering.
Much of the crop has already been damaged, and if we don't receive rain soon, there's a chance farmers could produce nothing.
Waiting for rain can make a long summer day feel even longer.
"We've been unfortunate in this area. We're not getting the rains a lot of other people have got," said John Parkes of Parkes Farms.
Rain, Sangamon county farmer John Parkes says, his corn desperately needs.
"We were lucky to get a little bit yesterday. It kind of bought us a little time, but not much. Yield wise we've probably lost the top potential we had," Parkes said.
Just a few miles west of Parkes' farm is Brandt Consolidated.
"It's going to be feast or famine," said Brandt agronomist Ed Corrigan.
Corrigan says this year's crop started strong, but that potential is fading fast.
"Where we've gotten no rain, we could have easily knocked half the yield off at this point. So it's really devastating..especially as we start to reach this tassel stage," said Corrigan.
Corrigan tells us without water, the corn plant can't get the nutrition it needs to develop properly.
"We're creating some great plants, and without any kernels of corn, we have absolutely zero value. Zero value. That farmer just spent $1,000 an acre in typical expenditures to get the crop to this stage, and he may lost 100% of it," Corrigan said.
After two years of high yields, corn prices remain low and other parts of the country are on track to produce another bumper crop.
"So prices may be depressed still and we'll have depressed yields that won't be good. Because as everyone knows, the farm economy isn't good," Parkes said.
At the mercy of mother nature, Parkes says all he can do now is wait and pray for rain.
"Sit back and let the good lord do what he's going to do for us and accept that and that's all we can do," said Parkes.
Corrigan says some parts of Central Illinois have received rain, but many corn fields there were damaged from high winds and hail.