ALTO PASS, IL (KFVS) - The lack of rain and extreme heat is turning the soil into concrete for many farmers across Southern Illinois.
"We're from 13" to 15" below normal rainfall. And it has a dramatic effect on our production," said Ren Sirles at Rendleman Orchards.
The farm does have the ability to irrigate some of their vegetable fields, but not their fruit trees.
"We've lost close to forty percent of our production for this year compared to a normal year," Sirles said.
And the soil isn't getting any better, in fact Sirles says it's just getting dryer and harder.
The only thing that will turn things around is rain. But how much and how fast it falls will determine just how good it does the crops.
"An inch of rain overnight that comes in real slow will actually be better for us then say a 4-inch rain in 45 minutes," said Sirles. " Because the ground is so hard it's almost impervious."
And Sirles says the area is going into it's hottest and driest time of the year, the months of July and August.
"It's going to be tough because we've gone through May and June which has been like a July and August. So I'm hoping that maybe we'll be like a September and October with cooler temperatures and more moisture."