Beef Quality Assurance Training A Success

Dr. Mike Baker, State Beef Specialist with Cornell University, provided training on Beef Quality Assurance, a program sponsored by the New York Beef Council to train beef producers on management practices that impact beef food safety and consumer confidence in beef. Mike and the accompanying vets led the group on a drug label reading exercize where each participant was given a drug bottle or box to read and answer questions regarding the label. Finally, a chute-side training allowed each participant to demonstrate a successful sub-cutaneous injection. Ron Cieri and Jim Ingram also explained their cattle handling system. Participants are now eligible to complete a form and gain level one certification in Beef Quality Assurance.

New Nutrition Facts Labels To Feature Added Sugars With Daily Value

A line disclosing added sugars with a corresponding percent Daily Value on updated Nutrition Facts labels should help consumers reduce their risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

The new Daily Value for added sugars on the revised labels will be 50 grams, or about 12 teaspoons—an amount representing 10 percent of the daily 2,000 calories recommended for many adults. Once the rules are implemented, the Nutrition Facts label on a 20-ounce bottle of Coke, for example, would likely show that it had 130 percent of the added sugars limit for a day. The new labels will help consumers looking at labels for things like yogurt, jams, or cereals know how much of the sugar comes from fruit or milk, and how much comes from high-fructose corn syrup or other added sugars.

Right now, it’s impossible for consumers who look at a Nutrition Facts label to know how much of the sugar in foods is added and how that amount fits into a reasonable daily diet. Besides helping consumers make more informed choices, the new labels should also spur food manufacturers to add less sugar to their products.

The revision announced today represents the first comprehensive overhaul of the Nutrition Facts label since its appearance on packaged foods in 1994 as a result of the passage of the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act. Besides spearheading efforts to pass the NLEA, CSPI also petitioned the FDA to make the only other change to the labels since its inception —a line for trans fat that became mandatory in 2006. When the FDA first proposed revising Nutrition Facts labels in 2014, the proposal included a line—but no Daily Value—for added sugars. In comments on the proposed rule in August of 2014, CSPI argued that without a percent DV, consumers wouldn’t know how much of a day’s worth of added sugars a serving of a food contained. In July of 2015 the FDA proposed a Daily Value for added sugars.

The new Nutrition Facts labels also give more visual emphasis to calories and will no longer have a reference to “calories from fat,” reflecting the new understanding that saturated and trans fat increase the risk of heart disease, while polyunsaturated fats and oils can reduce that risk. The labels will make voluntary the declarations for vitamins A and C, of which most Americans get plenty, but declarations for potassium and vitamin D will be required. The new rule lowers the Daily Value for sodium slightly, from 2,400 mg per day to 2,300 mg per day (CSPI would have preferred a more protective Daily Value of 1,500 mg per day).

The FDA also adjusted some serving sizes to reflect amounts typically consumed. Thus, the serving size of ice cream will be two-thirds of a cup instead of half a cup and labels will show proportionately increased calories, saturated fat, added sugars, and so on. The serving size for soft drinks will increase from eight ounces to 12 ounces. The serving size for bagels, toaster pastries, and muffins (except English muffins) will increase from two to four ounces. And single-serving packages of foods that weigh up to (but not quite) twice the standard serving size will be considered just one serving. Hence, a 20-oz. bottle of soda will have to be labeled as one serving.

Center for Science in the Public Interest, May 20, 2016

True Armyworm Alert

True Armyworm infestations have been reported this week in eastern and western NY, as mentioned in the View from the Field. GET OUT AND LOOK NOW!

It is important to detect armyworm areas early, while larvae are still small, since large larvae do most of the feeding and quickly destroy whole stands of corn, grasses and small grains. Because armyworm feeds at night look for chewed leaves, cut stems, lodged plants, pellet-like frass on the ground, and larvae hidden under plant canopy and surface residue. You will need to be aware that armyworms can move from field to field every quickly. If there are sufficient numbers and damage is present, an insecticide could be justified. Larger armyworm larvae, greater than 1 inch long, are much more difficult to control. These large larvae are more tolerant of insecticides, reducing the effectiveness and economic viability of this option. REMEMBER… if you have an infestation in a mixed stand true armyworm, alfalfa and the grass ALL NEED to be on the LABEL!!!

True armyworm larvae appear smooth cylindrical pale green too brownish when they are still small. Mature larvae are smooth and marked with two orange, white-bordered strips on each side. True armyworm ranges in size from 1/8 inch to 1 .5 inches long.

Economic Threshold Guidelines for True Armyworm 

Corn – For seedling stage corn Penn State recommends For whorl-stagecorn, apply an insecticide only if most plants show damage and about three larvae per plant are found.

Wheat – 3 to 5 or more larvae square foot, larvae less than 1.25 inches and not parasitized, watch for flag leaf reduction or if grain heads clipped off – yield losses, a spray before soft dough to save the remaining 3 upper leaves is generally beneficial since these tissues are still important to grain filling.

Grasses – no specific guidelines available, need for treatment based on the level of damage observed in relation to the expected value of grass harvest.

Identification Resources:

Armyworm as a pest of Field Corn: Armyworm on Wheat: Common (True) Armyworm: Fall Armyworm: