How to use flat die pellet mill to make alfalfa pellets

Making alfalfa pellets can be an efficient way to transport and store alfalfa for animal feed, as pellets are dense, easy to handle, and more digestible for livestock. The flat die pellet machine is a popular choice for small-scale production. Below is a detailed guide on how to use a flat die pellet mill to make alfalfa pellets.

Understanding the Flat Die Pellet Mill

Before diving into the pellet-making process, it’s crucial to understand how a flat die pellet mill works. This mill has a horizontal die with a series of rollers above it. As the die rotates, the rollers press the raw material through the holes in the die, forming pellets. The flat die pellet mill is simpler and more compact than the ring die type, making it ideal for small-scale production or home use.

Preparing the Alfalfa

Harvesting and Drying

The first step in making alfalfa granules is to harvest the alfalfa plant. It should be cut, then allowed to dry in the field until it reaches the proper moisture content, which is usually around 15%. If the alfalfa is too wet, it will not pelletize correctly, and if it’s too dry, the pellets will be brittle and break apart.


Once the alfalfa is dry, it needs to be ground into smaller pieces. This can be done using a hammer mill or a similar grinding machine. The goal is to produce a consistent particle size that will easily pass through the die of the pellet mill.

Operating the Flat Die Pellet Mill

Starting the Machine

Before starting the machine, check the manufacturer’s guidelines. Ensure that the pellet mill is in good condition and that all safety mechanisms are in place.

Feeding the Alfalfa

Once the machine is running, begin feeding the ground alfalfa into the hopper at a steady rate. It’s important not to overload the machine, as this could cause jams or damage to the pellet mill.

Adjusting the Rollers

Adjust the rollers as necessary to ensure they are pressing the alfalfa through the die effectively. The pressure applied by the rollers will affect the density and quality of the pellets.

Monitoring the Pellet Quality

As the pellets emerge from the other side of the die, check them for consistent size and shape. If the pellets are not forming correctly, you may need to adjust the moisture content of the alfalfa or the settings on the pellet mill.



The newly formed pellets will be hot and soft. They need to be cooled down to harden properly. Spread them out in a thin layer and allow them to cool naturally or use a pellet cooling machine if available.


Once cooled, the alfalfa pellets should be stored in a dry place to prevent them from absorbing moisture and deteriorating. Use airtight containers or bags to protect the pellets from the elements and to keep them fresh until they are ready to be used.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Pellet Mill Blockage

If the pellet mill becomes blocked, it’s often due to either too much moisture in the alfalfa or feeding too much material into the mill at once. Clear the blockage according to the manufacturer’s instructions and adjust the feed rate or material preparation accordingly.

Inconsistent Pellet Size

Inconsistent size can be due to irregular feeding or worn-out parts within the mill. Ensure a consistent feed rate and inspect the die and rollers for wear, replacing them if necessary.

Low Pellet Durability

If the pellets are breaking apart easily, it might be because the alfalfa is too dry or the rollers are not applying enough pressure. Adjust the moisture levels or the settings on the mill to correct this issue.

Using a flat die pellet mill to make alfalfa pellets can be a rewarding process. With the right preparation and operation, you can produce high-quality pellets that provide an excellent feed source for livestock. Always keep the machine well-maintained and follow safety procedures to ensure successful pellet production.