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Ensiling corn silage with different levels of a multi-species lactic acid bacteria inoculant

Mohammadzadeh, H., Khorvash, M., Ghorbani, G. R.
Animal production science 2014 v.54 no.2 pp. 165-171
acetic acid, acid detergent fiber, butyric acid, corn, corn silage, crops, crude protein, dough, fermentation, forage, frost, lactic acid, lactic acid bacteria, neutral detergent fiber, pH, silage making, silos, spoilage, volatile fatty acids, yeasts
A multi-species lactic acid bacterial inoculant (Lactisil maize, LM) was applied to whole-crop corn at different maturities in laboratory silos, to evaluate its effects on biochemical characteristics and aerobic stability. The corn crop was harvested at hard dough (HD, 253.1 g/DM kg), one-third milkline (ML, 293.7 g/DM kg) and one-third milkline with a killing frost (MLF, 297.6 g/DM kg). Crops were chopped to a 2.5-cm theoretical cut length, subsampled and treated with two levels of inoculant (LB1 = 1.5 × 105 cfu/g forage, LB2 = 3 × 105 cfu/g forage) or untreated (WO). The chemical composition of MLF crops was very similar to that of ML crops. However, lower (P < 0.01) numbers of lactic acid bacteria and higher numbers of yeast were enumerated in MLF than in ML crops. Higher percentages of DM and neutral detergent fibre and higher pH, but lower (P < 0.01) concentrations of water soluble carbohydrate and crude protein were measured in ML and MLF crops than in HD crops. Application of the inoculant increased (P < 0.01) concentrations of volatile fatty acids, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre in silages. Lactic acid concentration increased (P < 0.01) in HD treatments with an increasing level of inoculant. In contrast, the highest (P < 0.01) lactic acid concentration was measured in LB1 treatment compared with WO and LB2 in ML and MLF silages. Silages prepared from ML and MLF crops had higher (P < 0.01) lactic and acetic acid concentrations but lower (P < 0.01) butyric acid concentrations than did those prepared from HD. The pH in LB1 and LB2 silages was higher (P < 0.01) than that measured in WO silages. Aerobic stability was not influenced by inoculant treatment but low-DM silages were more (P < 0.01) resistant to spoilage. Frost-killed corn crops had a good potential to produce well fermented silage. Using LM resulted in silages with slightly higher fermentation products but it failed to improve aerobic stability of silage after 120 days of ensiling. These results indicated that inoculation of corn crops with LM for a short-duration ensilage period cannot enhance aerobic stability of silages due to insufficient acetic acid production from lactic acid conversion.