Binu Rana and Harlene Hatterman-Valenti
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Binu Rana Successfully Defends Horticulture M.S. Thesis

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Binu Rana successfully defended her master’s degree thesis in Horticulture at North Dakota State University (NDSU) on November 9, 2021. Rana’s thesis title is “Season Extension Using Supplemental Soil Heat in a North Dakota High Tunnel for Warm Season Vegetable Production”. Her advisor is Harlene Hatterman-Valenti, professor and high value crop production project leader in the Department of Plant Sciences.

Rana examined the effects of planting dates, low tunnel coverings, and supplemental soil heating on two basil and two snap bean cultivars grown in high tunnels. She concluded that early planting and soil heating used with appropriate cultivars can extend the growing season and increase yields. North Dakota farmers “may be able to harvest a more diverse array of produce earlier in the season by leveraging these season-extending techniques,” says Rana.

Rana chose to attend NDSU because of the opportunities for extensive basic and applied research in horticulture available in the Department of Plant Sciences. She says her perspective changed and she gained confidence through her experience at NDSU. “NDSU was an excellent experience for me,” says Rana. “The friendly graduate students, the helpful professors, the research, and the overall atmosphere made me feel at home at NDSU. [I’m] looking forward to describing myself as one of the proud NDSU alumni.”

Before attending NDSU, Rana earned her undergraduate degree in Agriculture at the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences, Bhairahawa, Nepal.

During her master’s studies at NDSU, Rana was a member of the Plant Sciences Graduate Student Association and served one year as secretary. In 2020, she won third place in the North Dakota Academy of Science graduate student poster competition. In 2021, Rana spent time as an assistant grower intern at Gertens Garden Center and Nursery in Minnesota.

Following her degree completion, Rana says, “I am passionate about protected agriculture. I want to experience the industry world for some years and then go for a Ph.D.”

Her graduate committee included Hatterman-Valenti, Dr. Chiwon Lee, and Dr. R. Jay Goos.

Author: Kamie Beeson
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard