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There is continued research that points to the benefits of magnesium-mica and its various uses in agricultural minerals. We have included a few brief studies that highlight the usefulness of this all-natural livestock supplement as a pellet binder and its efficacy during production. Click the links below to view the research, or contact our office by phone (620-537-7025) or email for more information.


The objective of this study was to examine the possibility of using magnesium-mica as a pelleting aid either by itself or in combination with sodium bentonite.


The diet used was a standard sorghum, grain - soybean meal based swine finisher diet (Appendix A). The batch size used was 500 lbs. The treatments were as follows: 1) control; 2) 2.5% Magnesium-mica; 3) 2.5% sodium bentonite; 4) 1.25% Magnesium-mica and 1.25% sodium bentonite. Each treatment was pelleted through a CPM Master model pellet mill equipped with a 3/16" X 2" straight bore die. We attempted to hold conditioning temperature at 70°C, however, when the bentonite was used, the temperature could not be held.

The samples for Pellet Durability Index (PDI) determinations were taken immediately after the die, cooled to room temperature and tested by the official procedure (ASAE S-261.5). The results are reported as an average of four determinations per treatment. Production rate was determined by dividing production weight by lapsed production time and reporting in pounds per hour. Energy consumption was determined and reported in terms of kwh/ton. The fines scalped from the pellets prior to packaging were weighed separately and reported as a percentage of total production.


The combined results of the trial are shown in Table 1. Serious production problems were encountered when the treatment with bentonite was pelleted. The results of this run are questionable because the desired condition temperature could not be reached.

When comparison of the results from diets A and B is made, it appears that the Magnesium-mica resulted in some improvement in both production rate and pellet quality and a corresponding reduction in fines production rate and energy consumption. It should be stressed that only one run per treatment was made, therefore no statistically valid conclusion can be reached.

As previously indicated, the combination of Magnesium-mica and sodium bentonite (Treatment C) resulted in a superior pellet and very low fines return, however, a loss in production rate and energy efficiency were sustained when the results are compared to Treatments A and B.


Again, the authors want to stress that no scientifically valid conclusions can be reached based on this study because of the lack of replication. It does appear, however, that Magnesium-mica may offer some benefits in the pelleting operation but several additional trials should be conducted before one can be confident in the results.

Results of Pelleting Trials with Magnesium-mica

Treatment Rate
A - control 3,333 88.3 6.8 9.7
B - 2.5% Magnesium-Mica 3,846 91.3 5.7 8.0
C* - 2.5% Bentonite 1,521 59.2 14.3 20.3
D - 1.25% Bentonite
1.25% Magnesium-mica
2,091 93.0 3.0 10.6

* - Serious problems were encountered with this run, therefore, the information presented may not be valid.

Story in Brief

Magnesium-mica was added to a test feed mixture at levels of 0, 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 percent. The product increased pellet mill production .51 tons per hour for each one percent addition. At the highest level, this represented an increase of 100 percent in the production rate of the test mill.

When adding magnesium-mica to a formula, each percent added will increase the level of elemental magnesium in the formula 0.08 percent. In many cases this is desirable in livestock supplements which only make up a small percentage of the diet. When added to complete formulas only 5 percent magnesium-mica would by itself cause the magnesium in the formula to exceed the NRC recommended maximum of 0.4 percent. The addition of magnesium-mica to a 20 percent protein range cube greatly improved both production rate and pellet quality.


The objective of the experiment was to determine if magnesium-mica would increase the production rate of a pellet mill while holding pellet quality constant as other production parameters varied to optimize input and pelleting consistency.

A test was conducted to evaluate the effect of adding magnesium-mica at 0, 2.5, 5.0, and 7.5 percent of the mixture on the production rate and pellet quality of a 20 percent protein range cube. Equipment used was Century model 100 horse power California pellet mill. The feed was pelleted through a 3/4 inch die and the pellets were cooled using a Hays & Stokes double pass cooler. To maintain the same protein level, the ratio of mids to cottonseed meal was altered when more magnesium-mica was added. (see figure 1)

Figure 1

Magnesium-mica level0 2.5 5.0 7.5
Wheat Middlingss 76.00 72.00 67.75 63.50
Cottonseed meal 19.00 20.50 22.25 24.00
Molasses-masonex 4.96 4.96 4.96 4.96
Vitamin A-30,000 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04
Magnesium-mica 2.50 5.00 7.50

Results and Discussion

The addition of magnesium-mica significantly increased production rates of the test feed. The addition of more cottonseed meal to maintain a constant 20 percent protein content of the test feeds as magnesium-mica increased also may have had a slight beneficial effect on pellet quality and production.

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