During Wednesday's edition of Lubbock's First News on KFYO, Vikram Baliga, Lubbock County's Horticultural Extension Agent, came by the studio to discuss local vineyards and the upcoming water conservation expo.

One crop many people don't associate with the South Plains is grapes. However, vineyards around Lubbock and across Texas have been very successful.

"The south plains is great for grape production," Baliga said. "For one thing, we don't have a lot of humidity." The hot, dry summers contribute to good sugar content in the grapes and prevents them from being watered down. The lack of humidity also helps prevent diseases found in wetter areas.

"It's a newer industry here than, you know, cotton or large scale agriculture," Baliga said, adding "It's booming."

While the vineyards have been successful here, they are expensive to get started. It takes 3-4 years for the grapes to grow up to the size they need to start fruiting. "It's a long term investment," Baliga explained.

August 16th will be the date of the 2014 Water Conservation Expo. It will run from 9AM-6PM at the Lubbock Indoor Courts in Wolfforth. The price of admission is 2 cans of food for the South Plains Food Bank. "We've got something like 20, 30 vendors set up," Baliga stated. They will be talking about water conscious landscaping, how to audit your irrigation system, and many other topics on water conservation.

To listen to the full interview, click the play button below:

To listen from a mobile device, click the following link: KFYO LFN Vikram Baliga July 24 2014

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