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First Impression Sauce

Have you ever noticed how sometimes, the first time you use a product the success is immediate and conspicuous? A while ago, I opened a box that contained a new bar of soap and took a shower. Right away I noticed how well the soap lathered up in our hard desert water. The effect was impressive. I compared the new bar to an old bar of the same brand. I had to really work at the old one to get it to lather. Showers are normally known for singing, but this got me thinking. Why was I so impressed with the new bar, when I had been using the same old soap brand for years? I think proctor and gamble or whoever made the bar sprayed a solution of calgon (sodium hexameta phosphate) on the surface to soften the water and make it lather well right away. I have given this effect a name, it is “first impression sauce”.

I remember when I was just out of school with my Undergrad degree (20 years ago now), I had a sales meeting with a salty older Agronomist that gave me a pretty hard time initially. As the meeting went on, I noticed he had a bottle of Vitamin B1 on top of his filing cabinet. Vitamin B1 is sold as an amendment, used mainly in the ornamental industry to be applied during transplant of young plants. In a little sarcastic smart-ass tone, I said, “Wow Vitamin B1! Do you use alot of that?” He told me “You know as well as I do that that stuff is worthless, but I manufacture it.” He went on, “I just add a little iron and zinc chelate in the solution, the grower sees the plants green up when they first use it. They don’t know any different, they think it is the Vitamin B1 is great.” There is my definition of “first impression sauce”.

There are others. Dr. Paul Eberhardt of IAS Labs in Phoenix discovered years ago that calcium levels in the cotton plant really respond to boron applications. Flower pollination- boll retention increase dramatically in cotton to boron fertilization. About the same time, a plant growth regulator used in cotton changed it’s anion chemistry from chloride to borate. This borate is considered a foliar fertilizer when the pgr is applied. Is this a co-incidence or “first impression sauce”?

Nitro-sul is a liquid fertilizer applied usually as a water run in furrow/border strip systems. It has a stinky rotten-egg-sulfury smell when applied. Stanworth Crop Consultants has never recommended the material. We believe that there are more economical alternatives to increasing soluble calcium on calcareous soils. I believe growers like the “first impression sauce” as they observe the stinky milky white emulsifier move across the field in the irrigation water.

Can you think of any “First Impression Sauces” in your life? If so, you may want to consider why the company adds it. Maybe you would be better off to buy just the sauce and not the product…. Me, I just put more salt in the water softener.

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