Fond du Lac County Extension Crops and Soils Agent Mike Rankin says while Fond du Lac and areas primarily north of the city have received rain, much of the county is parched.
"Parts of the county have gotten rain, but the southern half of the county has had almost nothing," Rankin notes.
He says some people are starting to compare the 2012 growing season to the Midwest drought in 1988 that continued through the first week of August. But Rankin says there is still one major difference between 1988 and 2012.
"We've definitely lost yield, but at least this is happening before pollination. Corn hybrids can withstand a lot more stress today than they could in 1988," he says. "We're not critical yet in Fond du Lac County. It's worse south of here. We could still get rain and I've seen corn pull out of droughts like this before. But obviously we can't go on forever. The next week will tell the story."
In general, Rankin says earlier planted corn is looking better than corn planted after the middle of May.
"But it really depends on the soil type," he says. The crops are suffering more on lighter soils and over knolls. That's the biggest factor."
Some soybeans had emergence issues, Rankin says.
"Soybeans compensate better than corn. Most of them haven't reached the point where they are in the reproductive stages. They can still hang on until we get some rain."