This year growers can plant Roundup Ready® Beans, Xtend® beans with the Roundup Ready and dicamba traits, and LibertyLink® soybeans. Mixing and matching these traits across your farm will be important when developing a sustainable strategy for controlling herbicide resistant and tolerant weeds like marestail, waterhemp, Palmer amaranth and ragweed species.

But how do varieties with these new traits yield? ILSoyAdvisor received the following question “Is there a significant yield decline from Roundup to Liberty or are they pretty comparable?” This is a good question to ask. Some of us remember back when the first Roundup Ready varieties were released in the mid 1990s and there was some yield drag associated with that initial release. But that was resolved quickly as better varieties were released.

So how do Roundup Ready/Xtend and Liberty soybean yields compare?

Below is a graph illustrating yield comparisons of Roundup Ready 2, Xtend and LibertyLink beans from four Midwestern universities. While there are differences between states, yields among traits were comparable.


The graph below illustrates yield comparisons of Liberty Link and Xtend soybeans from five regions in Illinois. Again, while there are differences between regions, yields of the two traits were very comparable.


So, my answer to the writer’s question? Soybean yields across traits are very comparable. Choose traits based on weed control needs and don’t worry about potential yield shortcomings.

Soybean agronomist Daniel Davidson, Ph.D posts blogs on agronomy-related topics. Feel free to contact him at or ring him at 402-649-5919.

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About the Author: Dan Davidson

Soybean agronomist Daniel Davidson, Ph.D., posts blogs on topics related to soybean agronomy. Feel free to contact him at or ring him at 402-649-5919.