Field cage experiments were conducted to determine the impact of bollworms, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), on yields of Bollgard II and Widestrike cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L. One-day-old bollworm larvae were infested in white flowers of Bollgard II and in white flowers and terminals of Widestrike cotton. The infestation levels included 0, 50, and 100% of white flowers for each type of cotton. Terminal infestations included one or two larvae per terminal on Widestrike cotton. Larvae were placed in flowers of Bollgard II cotton each day for 1 to 4 wk during the first 4 wk of flowering during 2003, 2004, and 2005 seasons and in the flowers or terminals of Widestrike cotton each day for 1 to 3 wk. Averaged across years and durations of infestation, yields of Bollgard II cotton were significantly reduced compared with noninfested Bollgard II cotton when 100% of white flowers were infested. For Widestrike cotton, there was a reduction in yield when 100% of white flowers were infested in 2005, but not in 2006. There was a significant relationship for cumulative numbers of white flowers infested on seedcotton yield of Bollgard II during one of the 3 yr of the experiment. The regression equation during that year had a slope of −0.77. No significant relationships were observed for cumulative numbers of white flowers infested on yields of Widestrike cotton. Results of the current experiment suggest bollworms will rarely cause yield losses of Bollgard II and Widestrike cotton. Future research will need to focus on developing specific thresholds for bollworms on Bollgard II and Widestrike cotton.
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Vol. 101 • No. 5