A Feb. 19 conference in Tyler will address emerging issues affecting commercial fruit and vegetable growers, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.

One of those issues will be whether East Texas is suited for wine grape production, said Joe Daniel, AgriLife Extension horticultural agent in Cherokee County.

"Unlike some horticultural commodities, the market potential for wine grapes appears strong," Daniel said. "Right now, people want to buy more grapes than we can produce."

Because of the high humidity, East Texas vineyards will likely to be prone to damage by bacterial diseases, which can kill the vine, Daniel said.

"Other issues will just require good management, which is something we can teach," he said.

The East Texas Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Conference will also offer information on feral hog control options specifically for fruit and vegetable growers, soil management issues, marketing, labor issues, peach pests and their control, and how to minimize pesticide risk.

Concurrent afternoon sessions will address growing blueberries in East Texas, marketing fruits and vegetables, growing southern peas, and growing grapes.

Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders will earn three continuing education units, one in integrated pest management, and two in general.

Registration will start at 8 a.m. and cost $20. The conference will be held at the Tyler Rose Garden Center, located at 420 Rose Park Dr., Tyler.

For more information, contact Brian Triplett at 903-590-2980, b-triplett@tamu.edu.