Cultural method of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) with advantages and disadvantages
Cultural method is the prevention or reduction of injurious insect pest by utilizing or changing various farm practices in an intelligent manner. Cultural method of insect control comprise the regular farm operations so performed as to destroy the insect or to prevent them from causing injury.
For the achievement of cultural control the following agricultural practices are to be done:
1. Use of resistant varieties
The use of resistant varieties is an important practices of cultural control. There are certain varieties of crops that are attacked less by a given insect than others because of presence of natural resistant to these pest attack. e.g. Deshi cotton much more resistant to attack of white fly and the bollworm than the American cotton. So, insect pest attacked can be checked by using resistant varieties.
2. Crop rotation
Generally certain insect attack certain crops. So, infestation of most of the insect are reduced/checked by following crop rotation. e.g. The infestation of stem borer of rice may be checked by cultivating jute after rice. Similarly, Jute hairy caterpillar can be controlled by cultivating rice after jute.
3. Crop residues destruction
Some insect, e.g. stem borer of rice and sugarcane, cucurbit beetles etc. stay in crop residues and attack the next season crop. So, such insects are controlled by destroying the crop residues after harvesting the crops by burning.
4. Tilling and cultivating the soil
Most of the soil infesting insect are controlled by changing the soil characteristics (texture, composition, temperature, humidity etc) which direct influence the survival of those insects. Those subterrestrial insect are exposed to sunlight through tilling and cultivation of soil. Adults and most of larvae; most subterrestrial insects are picked up by their natural enemies such as birds or other predators.
5. Pruning and thinning
Some pest are normally carried from the old portion to new one. It is particularly seen in fruit trees. Proper pruning of the undesirable portion of such plant is useful for keeping under check those insect attack. e.g. Leaf minor red scale of citrus, apple aphid and the peach leaf curl, aphid of stone fruits are controlled through pruning. The infestation of some insect pest are controlled by thinning the crop plant. e.g. Infestation of green leaf hopper of rice can be reduced by the thinning of rice plants.
Healthy and vigorous plants are resist to the attack of a given pest better than the sickly undernourished plant. Plant growth can be stimulate with balanced fertilization. So infestation of some insect may be reduced through balanced fertilization. e.g. Application of nitrogenous fertilizer reduce the incidence of white fly of cotton.
7. Clean culture
Clean culture means the removal of all undesired plant, plant debris and other materials from the fields and only growing healthy crops. Most of the insect which survive or take shelter all those undesired plant in the field in the season (off time) may be controlled by removing them. Moreover, Larvae of Rhinoceros beetle are live in cowdung. Epilachna beetle, red pumpkin beetle etc. are remain in dried leaves. So clean cultivation is necessary to control those insect.
8. Water management
Some insect controlled by applying irrigation or draining water from the field. Most of the sub terrestrial insect such as Cutworm, termite, sugarcane white grubs etc. are controlled by providing flood irrigation. As a result of flooding, some are drowned and some of others are driven out and exposed to their natural enemies. Again, the infestation of some insect, e.g. Rice Caseworm are prevented by draining out water from the field.
9. Planting of trap crops
Polyphagous insect are controlled by planting of trap crops. In this case most susceptible crops to particular polyphagous insect are grown around or in the field of main crops. e.g. Lady’s finger are planted around or center of the cotton field to control the jassids and spotted Bollworms as trap crops.
10. Use of clean seed
A number of insect pest are carried over from one crop to next through seeds, cutting or other infested plant parts that used for propagation. e.g. pink bollworm of cotton attack the crop in next season remaining in cotton seeds as dormant pupa. Again citrus scale insect in the branches of citrus plant which attack the plant in next season. Therefore, certified seeds free from pest and disease should be used for raising a new crop.
11. Variation in time of plant and harvesting
Variation of time of plant can help to reduce pest infeastation. e.g. Early sowing in jowar escapes the shoot fly attack while early planting in rice reduces gall midge damage.
12. Earthing up
Sugarcane early shoot borer, potato tuber moth can be controlled by timely earthing up of the field. This prevents insects to lay their eggs.
Advantages of Cultural method of IPM (Integrated Pest Management)
1. As we are using same cultural practices no extra cost is required.
2. This method is safe for application.
Disadvantages of Cultural method of IPM (Integrated Pest Management)
1. This method is effective for single pest only.
2. There are no visible results observed.
3. This method is not effective at epidemic condition.
4. Detailed knowledge of biology of pest is required for this purpose.