Biocycle Farm History

Summer 1997: The MWMC adopts Biosolids Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) recommendation proposing a diversified biosolids program, which included a dedicated application site growing hybrid poplar trees.

Summer 1999: The MWMC purchases an option to evaluate a 595-acre site on Awbrey Lane for biosolids land application and suitability for growing poplar trees.

April 2000: The completion of a Biosolids Land Application Farm Site Feasibility and Conceptual Design study indicated the site was suitable as a dedicated biosolids application site and that hybrid poplars would be an appropriate crop.

May 2000: The MWMC authorizes the purchase of the 595-acre site (named Biocycle Farm) for 2.88 million dollars.

June 2000: Oregon DEQ authorizes biosolids land application on Biocycle Farm.

Summer 2003: Construction begins on Biocycle Farm.

Poplar tree plantingSpring 2004: Management Unit I (156 acres) is planted with approximately 35,000 tree starts.



Watering of poplar treesSpring 2007: Oregon DEQ approves Recycled Water Management Plan for irrigation on Biocycle Farm.


Spring 2007: Management Unit II (122 acres) is planted with approximately 27,000 tree starts.

Spring 2009: Management Unit III (116 acres) is planted with approximately 26,000 tree starts.

First harvest of poplar treesSummer 2013: First-ever harvest of poplar trees on 52 acres of Management Unit I. Wood is sold for feedback for a variety of products including cardboard, Kraft paper, and charcoal. The cleared land is planted in oats by a local farmer as an interim use until tree planting is rescheduled. Watch harvest video on the MWMC YouTube channel.


Summer 2014: An additional 72 acres of Management Unit I is harvested. Trees were 10 years old and sold for use as newsprint pulp and also for a trial run of veneer for plywood production.

Poplar chipsSummer 2015: The final 32 acres of Management Unit I is harvested. Over 8,000 total dry tons of poplar chips, logs, and mulch are produced from Management Unit I.


2016: Management Unit I is replanted with poplar tree starts.



Ice-covered trees from December 2016 ice storm

December 2016: Ice storm damages farm with a combination of snapped tree trunks and uprooted trees knocking down large swaths of trees. Management Unit II is hit hardest.


Harvest of poplar trees

2017: Management Unit II is harvested along with portions of Unit III which were damaged by the winter ice storm. Much of this harvest is turned into plywood veneer.