Field tests were conducted in northeastern Louisiana to determine the effects of infestations by Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) on cotton bolls of varying ages. First instars were caged on bolls of nontransgenic (‘Deltapine 5415’) or transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner variety kurstaki (Bt) (‘NuCOTN 33B’) cotton from 29 June to 11 August during 1997 and 1998. Deltapine 5415 bolls that accumulated 179 (7.2 d), 281 (11.2 d), and 253 (10.1 d) heat units beyond anthesis were safe from bollworm-induced abscission at 72 h after infestation, 7 d after infestation, and at the time of harvest, respectively. NuCOTN 33B bolls that accumulated 157 (6.3 d), 185 (7.4 d), and 180 (7.2 d) heat units beyond anthesis were safe from bollworm-induced abscission at 72 h after infestation, 7 d after infestation, and at the time of harvest, respectively. Bollworm larvae reduced seedcotton weights of Deltapine 5415 bolls that accumulated between 58.5 (2.3 d) and 350.5 (14.0 d) heat units beyond anthesis. Seedcotton weights of NuCOTN 33B bolls that accumulated between 0 and 281 (11.2 d) heat units beyond anthesis were reduced by bollworm injury. Deltapine 5415 and NuCOTN 33B bolls that accumulated 426.5 (17.1 d) and 299.5 (12.0 d) heat units beyond anthesis, respectively, before infestation were not injured by first-instar bollworm larvae. These data provide information about late-season insecticide termination strategies for bollworms on nontransgenic and transgenic Bt-cotton. This, in turn, will help pest managers determine when insecticides are no longer economical during the late season.
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Vol. 93 • No. 3