The effect of long -term grass silage storage on its nutritive value and quality

Authors

  • Drago BABNIK Kmetijski inštitut Slovenije, Hacquetova 17, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
  • Jože VERBIČ Kmetijski inštitut Slovenije, Hacquetova 17, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14720/aas.2003.82.2.15275

Keywords:

animal nutrition, feed, grass silage, storage, wilting, fermentation, nutritive value, quality

Abstract

Italian ryegrass was cut on 10th May 1988 and ensiled in experimental silo (100 l) either directly (S/0) or after wilting for 6 (S/6), 10 (S/10), 30 (S/30) or 34 (S/34) hours. Dry matter (DM) concentration increased from 190 g kg-1 at cutting time to 230, 267, 376 and 434 g kg-1 after 6, 10, 30 and 36 hours of wilting. Formic acid treated silage (4 g of 85 % formic acid per kg) was also prepared from unwilted grass (S/0 MK). The silos were opened after 12 years. The silages S/0, S/0 MK, S/6, S/10, S/30 and S/34 contained 106, 171, 215, 241, 346 and 412 g DM kg-1, respectively. They contained 1.8, 104.2, 97.3, 77.4, 83.5 and 48.0 g lactic acid, 55.5, 34.6, 26.7, 24.0, 19.8 and 15.2 g acetic acid and 53.96, 4.81, 4.05, 11.37, 0.01 and 0.00 g butyric acid per kg DM, respectively. The proportions of ammonia N in S/0, S/0 MK, S/6, S/10, S/30 and S/34 were 552, 195, 211, 212, 108 and 69 g kg-1 total N, respectively. Both wilting and formic acid treatment improved stability of silage. The proportion of ammonia N and the concentration of acetic acid were negatively related to DM concentration (r = –0.84 and –0.89, P < 0.05). Both wilting and formic acid treatment improved the stability of silage. The concentration of NEL was markedly lower in S/0 (3.62 MJ kg-1 DM) than in wilted (from 5.01 to 5.39 MJ kg -1 DM) and formic acid treated (5.22 MJ kg -1 DM) silages. Concentration of NEL was negatively related to the proportion of ammonia N (r = –0.98, P < 0.001), the concentration of acetic (r = –0.91, P < 0.05), propionic (r = –0.98, P < 0.001) and butyric acid (r = –0.99, P < 0.001). The results of the current study suggest that well fermented wilted grass silages can be stored in air tight silos for a period of more than ten years without taking a risk of being spoiled. In direct cut silage, lactic acid was degraded and silage got spoiled. Long term stability of unwilted silage can be improved by the formic acid treatment.

Published

15. 12. 2003

Issue

Section

Original Scientific Article

How to Cite

BABNIK, D., & VERBIČ, J. (2003). The effect of long -term grass silage storage on its nutritive value and quality. Acta Agriculturae Slovenica, 82(2), 109–117. https://doi.org/10.14720/aas.2003.82.2.15275

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