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Alternate Crops and Cropping System for Irrigated Central Washington

An N. Hang
Alternate Crops and Cropping Systems for Irrigated Central Washington Dr. An Hang directs a cooperative, multi-state dry bean nursery to test  advanced bean lines from public and private breeders in North America. In this role, she gathers all advanced bean lines and distributes them to all lCamelinaocations, gathers all data, and reports the findings via the web where industry, growers, and scientists access this information to assist with planting and breeding decisions, or variety release recommendations. Hang also is working to determine if a rhizobium inoculated bean can be grown in a low fertility soil with no additional fertilizer, which would be beneficial to organic farmers in Washington state.

A primary research objective of Dr. Hang’s program is to introduce new and alternative crops to Washington state, especially in the irrigated areas of central Washington. Working as part of a team studying East Asian crops for potential as alternative crops in Washington, Dr. Hang is researching azuki, a small red bean, and edamame, a green soybean. One to two lines of each species well adapted to the PNW and having high quality and yield potentials will be released in the near future. Production and management practices of these two new crops are also underway.

Dr. Hang also has an interest in oilseed crops. She has introduced spring and winter canola/rapeseed into the crop rotation in irrigated central Washington. The potential of rapeseed and mustard crops as green manure for potato producing areas has been recognized. Because of their biomass, deep root system, and cold tolerance, growers use them as ground cover to control wind/water erosion during the winter and at the same time are improving soil tilth.

Other oilseeds in her program include safflower, soybean, sunflower, and camelina. She has recently expanded her research on camelina for adaptation to the Pacific Northwest because of increased demand of oils containing high Omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, oilseed crops, especially high erucic acid oil producing crops such as rapeseed and mustard, are also in the program to study the feasible crop for a renewable source of raw materials for bioenergy producing plants. This is an ongoing project to study the effectiveness of energy output from crops compared to fossil fuel. Dr. Hang is also studying the efficiency of water application to oilseed crops.

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Contact Information
An N. Hang
Associate Research Agronomist
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

Washington State University
Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center
24106 N. Bunn Road
Prosser, WA 99350

Telephone: 509-786-9201
Fax: 509-786-9370
E-mail: ahang@wsu.edu

Dr. An Hang was born and raised in a small rural area in South Vietnam.  She earned her Agricultural Engineer degree in Agronomy and Food Technology at  the National Agricultural Institute, Saigon,   Vietnam, in  1968. She was appointed instructor in the Department of Agronomy at the same  institution and worked there for five years. She attended the University of Florida  and earned her M.S.(1976) and Ph.D. (1978) degrees in crop physiology. She  joined the faculty in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State University in 1978 and is stationed at  the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center  in Prosser. Dr. Hang’s research program focuses on the introduction of new  crops and alternate crops, to be used in rotation with the traditional crops  under irrigation in Central Washington. Her  research also focuses on optimization of water use while minimizing soil  erosion and  leaching out of the root  zone, therefore minimizing nitrate contamination in the water and the soil. Hang  has been involved in oilseed crop production and management since canola oil  was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Recently, oil crop  production has captured public interest as raw materials for biodiesel, a new  renewable source of energy.