Just as the return of the robins is a sure sign of spring; so, too, are the sales campaigns for the various “foo –foo” juice products. This year is no exception. The marketing has started. It seems that the marketing efforts for these products intensifies when profit margins, if any, are very small.
I started working in the Land Grant University system in the late 1960’s. Various “foo – foo” juice products were marketed at that time. Within a few short years, most of these products disappeared from the market scene only to reappear a few years later under a different name.
Over time, many products were evaluated in accurate studies at the various Land Grant Universities. They were shown to have little or no value for crop production. Frequently, when these negative results were made public, the product usually disappeared from the market.
It’s easy to spot these products. There are some common statements that are repeated in the sales literature. One of these products was advertised in a recent farm publication. The claims were:
- it has improved yield benefits
- it increases plant stand and seedling vigor
- it’s use produces better nutrient and water efficiency
- it will create more robust root systems
These claims, of course, are very general and are difficult to measure. So, if advertising for some product or group of products sounds suspicious, you are probably looking at another “foo – foo” juice product. Keep the checkbook in the pocket and take the wife out to eat instead. You will be further ahead.
If the product appears to be suspicious, ask to see data that supports the claims. Chances are that you won’t see any. If data is available, it is usually limited and without statistical analysis.
Finally, don’t hesitate to ask questions of others. There are several sources of good information. These are Extension personnel and ag-professionals. If a product has merit, others will know about it.
Remember that if sounds too good to be true you have problems ahead.