Sisal Plants for Fibre, Food & Fuel.

(Agave Tequilana - BLUE AGAVE PLANTS)


Sisal historically been called Green Gold !

For nearly 4 decades, our Vision has been that Australian Aboriginal communities or others philanthropic people or community groups could utilise well drained native, Arid or Tropical regions with unused land, using Irrigation or a Rainfall between 500~1500mm year would be suitable to Grow Crops of Agave Tequilana, commonly called Blue Agave, and further vision Hemp-fibre would be an even better fibre for Finer Textiles!

Sisal Fibres 60~150cm long are extracted from the plant leaf’s, these are commonly used for manufacturing quality Sisal Rope/Twine, Carpet, Cloths, Bags & paper products etc.

The thick opaque viscus material left after the Agave leafs Fibre are extracted, can be processed into Tequila, Sugars, Ethanol, and animal Feed, & the Core of the Agave plant can be burnt to generate Energy, in 2018 this is was been done by an Australian Sugarcane Farmer on Rocky land unsuitable for conventional Coping.

The Blue Agave Plant has great potential to replace most of the Petrochemical reliant textile products that currently pollute our planet, there is apparently no waste, any remaining fibre can be burnt to produce steam in power/energy production etc.

Graded Sisal fibres are packed into bales using a manually or electrically operated pressing machine. The moisture content of packed fibre should not be more than 10~12%. If it is too wet, it becomes stiffly matted and there is a danger of spontaneous combustion in the bales.

One full bale is equivalent to 125 kilograms of fibre. One ton is made up of 8 bales.

Sisal fibre alone is valued between US$500~US$2'300 ton, depending on fibre classification.

Length/Class Description;
3L At least 915 mm, without knots and cream to a light straw colour.
3 At least 610 mm.
UG  Darker colour fibre.
PM Shorter than 610 mm with knots and darker colours.

An Agave/Sisal farm with associated value added business like, Sisal Fibre Woven into Rope, Fabric, Cattle Feed, & Ethanol production alone, has the potential to be come self sufficient, and sustain thousands of people in outback Towns!

NOTE: The leaf waste or pulp, left as a by-product, has been used profitably as cattle feed, on average 10~27kg of fresh sisal waste have been fed daily to dairy cows, where Ethanol production from this waste could be used as a Green Clean Fuel for power generation or vehicles!

Our Vision has always been, Sisal farms & industries will developed in Australia ...who knows !

Well here we go, on Landline in Oct 2018 a leading company is looking to commercialise the Agave Plant and has stared Growing Blue Agave Plants in Australia ...Where it will lead will be interesting!

HEMP fibres should be Next !

Our Vision also entails seeing Sisal (Agave) fibres grown and processed in Australian Mills, But also woven into natural rope & natural Sisal fibre carpets and fabric etc, to be on-sold & exported around the world!

If there are philanthropists out there with a similar visions, please contact us, as we would love to be involved in getting this industry established in Australia, let's start the process together as we already have the market for national sales & distribution of Sisal Floorcoverings, or JUST DO IT!

These Plants could replace Rural Cotton Belt or areas of infertile land with little rainfall, as this plant is not unlike a CACTUS, and adapt well taking into account the amount of growth required 'Obviously' growth is increased by Irrigation & Nutrition.

Research shows the raw Sisal fibre produces a yield upwards of $500~$1200 per tone, with a plant life of about 8 years, harvesting leafs can be done every 6 months in certain conditions or left for harvesting.

See this informative video.

As "Fodder" for the farmer: (Agave Sisalana, Sisal Hemp, Henequen, Agave Sisalana)

Agave plant is a Stemless perennial with thick succulent leaves 1~1.5 mt long having smooth edges and a sharp dark brown terminal spine, the plant produces a central spike up to 6 mt high after seven or eight years, historically (mentioned above) the leaves are threshed for the durable white fibres used in the manufacture of rope and twine.

The leaf waste or pulp, left as a by-product accumulates in large amounts at Processing sites.  Sisal leaf waste has been used profitably for cattle and rabbit feed. Up to 27 kg of fresh sisal waste have been fed daily to dairy cows, but the average intake of sisal waste when used as a supplement for grazing cattle is about 10 kg per day, undesirable side effects have not been observed even after heavy feeding of sisal waste for long periods, the succulence of fresh sisal waste makes it a useful feed during dry periods.  Once accustomed to it, cattle find sisal waste quite palatable.

Sisal waste ferments rapidly and should be used within forty eight hours or be either sun dried or ensiled (put into a silo or silage clamp in order to preserve it as silage).

It takes about one month for "untrained" cattle to reach the maximum intake of fresh waste, whereas a cow which has received sisal waste the previous season attains the same level in a week. Cattle accustomed to sisal waste attack it avidly, the main limitation of utilising sisal waste for feed is its high moisture content. Besides, it is perishable and low in nutritive value, mostly because of its lack of digestible protein and phosphorus.

These are only a few of possibly thousands of uses that we have sourced, so if you have any information that you think we could use please forward them to us, so that our visitors can appreciate them.

The HISTORY of Sisal: It is told Sisal is a plant original from Yucatan, Mexico. It is also called sosquil and green gold.

Centuries before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Mayans used the fibre of the yucatecan sisal in their activities, without sisal, it had not been possible to construct the temples and buildings that are characteristically of this culture, a pre-Columbian civilisation.

The Spanish conquerors gave little importance to the sisal, however the Indians continued with its crop and rudimentary industrialisation, called ci' and its Tzoztzqui fibres (agave hair) that the Spaniards turned into sosquil. Fray Diego de Landa said: " the natives of Yucatan have a country weed that their raise in their houses and produce cañamo with which they make infinite things for their service ".

In the advanced colonial period, the culture and commerce of sisal was done as an additional work in the haciendas with the purpose of obtaining the necessary fibre for its own consumption of ropes and bags. The sisal boardings began in 1780. The main items were hammocks, bags and camp beds.

In 1875 the patent of the first efficient de-fibreing machine was granted to Jose Esteban Solís, some time later, the steam machine united to the de-fibreing machines.

In 1878 Cyrus McCormick invented the wheat sheave machine, which used sisal thread denominated "Binder Twine", this stimulated the crop and as a consequence the use of mechanical elements in the sisal production was impelled.

In the World War-I the demand of products processed with sisal increased in a considerable amount, with an accelerated demand since the World War II, giving origin to the creation of numerous factories around the world.

During this period American currency & Australian & American Army clothing were made predominately of Hemp fibres, Hemp is closely related plant that producing similar Textile products, with the added benefit of the inner core of the Hemp plant can be used to produce strong flexible Epoxy products (like Fibreglass) or as Concrete building material.

Growing Agave of Sisal Fibre: The Agave plant requires an optimum annual rainfall average of between 500 to 1500 mm.

The Leafs contain the fibres used for Sisal Twine and other products.

Leafs are usually Decorticate (Removal of bark, rind, husk) within 48 hours of Harvesting.

For more information on Growing Agave as a 100% sustainable Green crop/plant, this is a great article from, African Farm based Growing guide to Agave Farming.