Texas AgriLife Extension Service will sponsor the 16th Annual Gulf Coast Grape Growers' Field Day on Feb. 8 at the Cat Spring Agricultural Society Hall. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The field day is held annually to inform new and experienced growers, as well as others involved in the wine-grape industry, about the latest products and practices for the vineyard, said Fritz Westover, Gulf Coast regional viticulture associate for AgriLife Extension in Harris County.

"This also provides an opportunity for growers to hear the results of the latest wine-grape research by AgriLife Extension experts from the Texas A&M University System, as well as experts from other universities," said Westover.

The field day will feature speakers from Texas A&M, Texas Tech, the University of Houston, AgriLife Extension and the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association.

"The main focus will be on disease and pest management in the vineyard, with emphasis on varieties grown primarily in the Gulf Coast and Eastern regions of Texas," said Westover. "The 2007 growing season was riddled with challenges from high rainfall and disease pressure, and we want to bring growers the most recent and useful information to help them address these challenges."

Specific topics to be addressed include: alternative grape varieties for the Gulf Coast; grape berry moth research and control strategies; physiology of grape diseases in wet growing seasons; vineyard research updates on a phosphorous acid trial and blanc du bois fruit set study; and a pesticide price survey.

Three continuing education units will be given to all pesticide applicators.

Registration cost, which includes lunch and beverages, is $15. Registration may be completed online or at the door.

To register online and for more information, go to http://agrilifevents.tamu.edu/events , or contact Westover at 281-855-5608 or FAWestover@ag.tamu.edu