Lots of variability across the Central & Northern part of Illinois this year. I-80 & North was probably the garden spot. When they experienced rain this spring they were mainly getting 1- 2 inches instead of 4-5 inch rains further south. Also didn't have the extreme heat after pollination like we did in the eastern side of the state. Eastern half of Illinois was wet early then experienced extreme heat at the grain fill period. They had 32 days of 90 plus degree heat verses just 2 last year. So tip back, shallow kernels and denitrification led to a lot of 80-100 bushel whole field averages. West / Central was pretty much wet all the way through. We never got the water off the flat black poorly drained soils so yields were poor on them. Any fields with slope, hills, sandy soil had some of the highest yields they ever had. A couple of advantages we have had in some of those diverse conditions is the kernel depth and health of our hybrids. When stress after pollination hit, our hybrids didn't pinch back as much as the competition and the health of our hybrids helped fill those kernels better.
One thing everyone in our region has in common this year is an excellent fall for tillage. Stalks are getting buried and compaction layer busted up. We are leading up one of the best starts we have had for corn after corn in years. I would hit those fields next spring with the field cultivator (stalks should turn to powder). Plant that corn 2 inches deep, getting good root set. Compaction layer is busted up so those VT3 roots should go deep and grab all those available nutrients and moisture. WOW, we could experience some of the best corn after corn yields ever!