The MWMC Biocycle Farm has both short and long-term opportunities for millers and other processors to be involved with poplar harvests. Local mill interest is key to ensuring Biocycle Farm trees go to the highest and best use for our community.
The Farm-to-Table Connection
Millers who can process poplar into dimensional wood products for the niche building products market are key to connecting Biocycle Farm poplar trees to our local homes and businesses. Opportunities abound for finding uses for poplar in existing product lines as well as connecting mills to buyers or for exploring new potential.
On-site and Mill Site Opportunities
Biocycle Farm trees can be prepared into saw logs on site for trucking, milled directly on site with portable mills, and chipped or processed as needed for market. Past harvest practices at the Biocycle Farm have included on-site milling and chipping, as well as processing trees into saw logs, peeler logs, and chip logs for trucking off site. Largely, the logging contractor has arranged mill sales and trucking, but some buyers have also trucked their purchased logs directly from the harvest area. Chipping and hog fuel grinding operations have included on-site stockpiling and directly feeding into waiting trucks for shipping. With a coordinated harvest-processing-mill arrangement, improved logistics and efficiencies can be realized for the MWMC, contractors, and buyers.
Biochar, Biofuel, and Mulch
In addition to pulpwood milling opportunities, additional biomass is processed into hog fuel for multiple uses. Past applications for Biocycle Farm hog fuel have included charcoal production, biomass energy, farm bedding, compost, and mulch. The best uses for hog fuel may be as mulch around new trees on site and as feedstock for biochar. Biochar could be generated on site or by a regional producer. Biochar has high environmental value for carbon sequestration, soil enhancement, and site restoration. Opportunities for biochar production would bring the Biocycle Farm’s sustainability aspects to a whole new level.
To learn more about potential markets for poplar and to add your name to a list of potentially interested millers and processors, email Todd Miller, City of Springfield Environmental Services Supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.