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Cultural practices are normal agronomic practices
followed for increasing crop productivity and their appropriate manipulation can effectively prevent the insect pest populations from causing losses to the crop.
• Early and synchronous planting: Wherever possible, suitable alteration in planting dates can check the development of populations of insect pests like yellow stem borer, gall midge, and plant and leafhoppers.
• Balanced fertilizer application : Healthy plants can withstand the insect pest attack better than nutritionally sick plants. Timely application of fertilizers, particularly nitrogen in right doses will help in building the ability of rice plants to withstand injury due to pests. Application of fertilizers in right proportions at recommended doses with nitrogen fertilization in 2 to 3 splits avoids build up of gall midge, leaf folder, BPH and WBPH.
• Field sanitation: Maintaining a weed free field and destruction of stubbles after harvest effectively prevent the carryover of stem borer and gall midge.
• Water management: Simple practices like draining of water from the fields or maintaining appropriate levels of water in the fields is effective in case of pests like BPH, army worm and case worm.
• Other practices: Provision of alleyways of 30 cm width after every 2-3 meters in field while transplanting is useful to manage BPH/WBPH pests.
Technical Bulletin No. 10, Integrated Pest Management in Rainfed Rice Production Systems, Directorate of Rice Research.