Kaolin & Attapulgite Uses in Agriculture


Agricultural markets utilize AMI products in a wide variety of applications.

Certain kaolin products are designed as an EPA approved and OMRI listed pesticide and OMRI listed solar protection for fruits and vegetables. Another serves as an economical EPA-approved inert ingredient in herbicide and pesticide formulations applied both pre- and post- harvest. Min-U-Gel® 200 and 400 gellant attapulgite products are EPA approved inert ingredients for pesticide and herbicides.


Taking care of the Crop. Aerial view of a Tractor fertilizing a cultivated agricultural field.

Along with high purity Acti-Gel® 208 attapulgite grade, they serve as binding agents for seed coatings and dry fertilizers; stabilizing and suspending agents in liquid animal feed supplements and liquid fertilizers; and as carriers, suspension agents and syneresis controls in wettable powders (WP), water-dispersible granules (WDG) and water-reducible (WR) pesticides.

Attapulgite is also approved by AAFCO and cleared by the FDA, for use in animal feed.

Use as a Crop Protectant

Acti-Min® FE kaolin pesticide is EPA approved and OMRI listed. Its particles form a barrier film, which acts as a broad spectrum agricultural crop protectant for controlling damage from listed insects, mite, and disease pests. It also reduces environmental stresses caused by sunburn and heat stress. 

Refer to the Acti-Min FE EPA-approved product label before using the product. Follow all applicable directions, restrictions and precautions:
Click here to view and download the EPA label.

Retail availability of Acti-Min FE:
Click here to view and download the retail availability document.

tomatoes being sprated with crop protectant

Sunburn and Heat Stress Protectant

Acti-Min® Sunblock kaolin-based mineral product is OMRI listed. When properly applied to plant leaves and fruit, forms a dry white barrier film that can provide protective benefits to agricultural crops. Through independent studies1 and a decade of AMI’s Acti-Min kaolin products in commercial field experience, kaolin mineral film barriers have shown effectiveness in reducing plant stress, minimizing sunburn, and enhancing growth across a multitude of crops.
View Sunblock Guide

1Whitewashing Agriculture, Agricultural Research Magazine, November 2000, Pgs 14-17.
Holding crop with kaolin protectant

EPA Approved Inert Ingredients for Pesticides and Herbicides

Acti-Min® DX kaolin mineral product is an economical EPA approved inert ingredient for pesticide and herbicide formulations applied both pre- and post- harvest. It is a high quality, finely pulverized, low residue, air-float kaolin clay product. It is designed to serve as an economical diluent with low oil absorption and provide a low viscosity in liquids.

Min-U-Gel® 200 and 400 attapulgite mineral products are EPA approved inert ingredient for pesticide and herbicide formulations. They are also high performing, economical additives for controlling rheology  and syneresis. Min-U-Gel product’s thixotropic thickening and suspension properties stabilize mixtures and enables easy spraying and pumping. They also serve as carriers. Applications include foliar sprays, wettable powders (WP), water-dispersible granules (WDG) and water-reducible (WR) pesticides. High purity Acti-Gel® 208 attapulgite provides the same performance benefits but adds a unique value in allowing a higher solids level without increasing viscosity.

Agricultural worker takes care of his crops
Tractor spraying soybean field at spring

Suspension Fertilizer and Foliar Fertilizer

The ability to suspend insoluble plant nutrients in water combines the advantage of higher analysis found in bulk dry blend fertilizers with the ease and uniformity of a liquid spray application. The unique and consistent thixotropic properties of our Min-U-Gel® attapulgite mineral products are of particular value to suspension and foliar fertilizer users because little viscosity results when the suspension is under shear, allowing the mix to pass through application spray nozzles easily and uniformly. When agitation is stopped during transport or storage a thick gel forms suspending insolubles and stabilizing the mix. Unlike other minerals, suspensions produced with attapulgite gellant clay are unaffected by salts, which are present in most fertilizer formulations, and so the mixture remains stable and the applied concentration is consistent. Coarser and finer attapulgite grades are offered and provide different advantages depending on the type of mixing systems and equipment being used. Foliar applications typically require finer grades of attapulgite.

Liquid Animal Feeds

Vitamins, trace minerals and other nutrients are provided to livestock as liquid feed supplements in silage troughs, lick tanks and range blocks. It is imperative that they remain suspended in a stable mixture. AMI’s Min-U-Gel® 200 attapulgite gelling clay is a very effective, value-add thixotropic thickener, suspending agent and syneresis control to maintain a uniform, pumpable mix and it is palatable to the animal. When the mixture is at rest, Min-U-Gel 200 thixotropic thickening and suspension provide positional stability, especially for undissolved nutrients. Under shear, the mixture has a much lower viscosity enabling easy pumping out of the truck or silo storage into the trough or lick tanks. It also helps the liquid feed adhere to the wheel passing through the lick tank. Attapulgite is approved by AAFCO, and cleared by the FDA, for use in animal feed.

Isolated closeup of cattle feeding at a feedlot

Seed Coatings

Seed coatings serve several key purposes. They change the size and shape for improved accuracy in dispensing in the field, they add color markers making seed varieties easily distinguishable, they increase the rate of germination, and they protect seeds from insects during germination.

Each of these functional benefits of seed coatings can be achieved by using Min-U-Gel® 400 attapulgite mineral product, an EPA approved inert ingredient for pesticides and herbicides, as a primary binding agent. Min-U-Gel 400 product’s high surface area, coupled with hydrophilic properties and its inertness to pH and other chemicals, enables it to build strong adhesion and cohesion binding it to a seed and itself.  With an ultrafine and consistent particle size, Min-U-Gel 400 builds a uniform and strong coating around the seed that is resistant to attrition, yet breaks down easily in moist soil. Min-U-Gel 400 also allows the absorption of color dyes, nutrients/fertilizers and pesticides to be added in the coating and then released later in soil.

A higher performing binder is Acti-Gel® 208 purified magnesium aluminosilicate. This highly purified attapulgite has greater binding strength and lower residue. In all silicate mineral products, the majority of residue is composed of non-binding materials like quartz and carbonate, so the lower the residue the higher and more consistent the binding properties. The purification process of Acti-Gel 208 additive substantially removes these non -binding materials and greatly reduces it’s +325 mesh residue. This allows Acti-Gel 208 binder in molecular sieve and catalyst applications to be used at a about 1/10th the dosage of all traditional attapulgite products, yet it reduces the attrition rate of the molecular sieve pellets and beads and gives them higher crush strength. The same can be expected in seed coatings.

seeds of corn hybrids with applied insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers to protect against diseases and pests.
Sunblock covered mandarins

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