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Grapes may become viable crop for Brownwood agriculture

A growing interest in wine grape production has prompted Texas Cooperative Extension, the city of Brownwood and the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce to present "Developing a Growing Industry; Vineyard and Winery Seminar," from 8:30 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. May 8.

The seminar will be held at the Adams Street Community Center, 511 E. Adams in Brownwood.

"There has never been a grape or wine production informational program held here, so this will be a first for us," said Scott Anderson, Extension agent for Brown County.

Anderson said the program is for anyone seriously considering growing wine grapes as a business. The program should give participants enough information to determine whether or not viticulture is right for them.

"With proper management and the right varieties, we know that grapes can be produced here in Central Texas," Anderson said. "If the interest that's being shown is any indication, grapes may soon be a viable agricultural enterprise here."

Topics to be covered during the morning session are:

- Overview of vineyard economics and current market situation.

- Planning for success: Things you should consider before you open a winery.

- Vineyard labor requirements.

- Risk factors.

Afternoon topics are:

- Necessary viticulture expertise.

- Vineyard location considerations.

- Options for entering the wine industry: A look at underutilized and cooperative arrangements.

- Opportunities for a co-op winery in Brownwood.

- Partners and resources.

Individual registration is $25 by May 1 and $35 thereafter; lunch and materials are included.

For more information, call Anderson at 325-646-0386. To pre-register, contact the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at 325-646-9535 or .

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