Annual Gulf Coast Grape-Grower Field Day set Feb. 8 in Cat Spring

CAT SPRING — The 21st annual Gulf Coast Grape-Grower Field Day has been slated for Feb. 8 at Agricultural Society Hall, 13035 Hall Road in Cat Spring.

The 21st annual Gulf Coast Grape-Grower Field Day will be held Feb. 8 in Cat Spring. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

“This meeting is organized by the Austin County Grape Grower Committee and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service,” said Fritz Westover, AgriLife Extension viticulture program specialist for the Gulf Coast and North Texas, based in Harris County. “It will consist of presentations by experts on some of the topics of greatest interest to Texas wine-grape producers. There will be industry updates as well as updates on some of the research relating to Pierce’s disease and other challenges to growers.”

Registration is 8:30-9 a.m. the day of the event.

Morning presentations begin with a 2012 grape acreage survey of the Texas Gulf Coast region by Westover, followed by a Pierce’s disease research update by Jim Kamas, AgriLife Extension fruit specialist for the Texas Hill Country, Gillespie County, and Adam Elrod, AgriLife Extension assistant in plant pathology and microbiology, College Station.

Andrew Labay, AgriLife Extension associate in horticultural sciences in Gillespie County, will discuss new Pierce’s disease-tolerant grape varieties, and morning presentations will conclude with Westover’s review of four years of data on vertical canopy division of favorite wine grapes.

A catered lunch will be from noon to 1 p.m., followed  by a Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association update.

Afternoon presentations will include “Common Missteps of New Grape Growers” from 1:15-1:45 p.m. by George Ray McEachern, AgriLife Extension  horticulturist, College Station, and “Progress Toward Virus-tested Pierce’s Disease-Resistant Hybrids” by Dr. Mark Black, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist, Uvalde.

Jeffrey Lindner, Harris County Flood Control District, will provide a weather outlook, followed by Westover presenting lessons learned from 2012 vineyard demonstrations.

Presentations will conclude at 4 p.m., followed by a wine reception and opportunity to visit event sponsor booths from 4-5 p.m.

Cost for the field day is $30 per person, including a catered barbecue lunch, handouts and the wine social.

Attendees are requested to RSVP via email if they wish to attend, and registration will be at the door.

To RSVP and for information, contact Westover at 281-855-5608, fawestover@ag.tamu.edu.

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