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Nursery Sells Riverviews Digested Solids to Gardeners

Jan Anderson is doing a lively trade in Riverview’s anaerobically-digested dairy manure solids, which she whimsically markets as “reconstituted grains from Riverview Dairy.”

Anderson and her husband, Lloyd, operate Anderson Acres, a nursery business near Alberta, Minn., not far from Riverview’s home dairy. The Andersons have been in the nursery business for 11 years. They operate five greenhouses on their farm, as well as a retail store. On the side, they grow corn and soybeans and feed beef cattle. Jan is also famous for her lefse. “I made 1,500 rounds last year.”

Jan says the digested dairy solids are “a very good soil amender, especially on heavy clay soils. We’ve found it really enriches the soil.” There’s no manure smell, she says, and “it doesn’t burn plants like uncomposted manure can.”

The digestion process reduces odors and destroys most of the pathogens in manure, says Adam Zeltwanger of Riverview. The solids are relatively free of viable weed seeds, too, Jan adds, so it makes “a good top dressing to hold down weeds. I definitely think there could be a good market for it.” In fact, she adds, “We have people coming from as far as 100 miles to buy it.”

Anderson Acres sells the product in three-cubic-foot bags for $6, or in bulk, for $45 a cubic yard. “We also use it in our own display gardens,” she says. “It’s a great product.”