The effect of the addition of a lactic acid bacterial inoculant to maize at ensiling on silage composition, silage intake, milk production and milk composition
The aim of the study was to determine the effect of the addition of a lactic acid bacterial inoculant to maize at ensiling on the fermentation dynamics during ensiling, aerobic stability of the silage as well as the intake, milk production and milk composition of Jersey cows fed maize silage diets. The inoculant contained Lactobacillus plantarum and Pediococcus acidilactici as well as amylase. Maize was ensiled in laboratory and bunker silos. The inoculant did not result in a more rapid lowering of the pH or a more rapid lactic acid production compared to untreated maize silage made in laboratory silos. Both the control and inoculated maize silages were well preserved with a pH of 3.57 and 3.62, a lactic acid concentration of 66 and 63 g/kg DM and an ammonia nitrogen concentration of 5.88 and 5.10 g/100 g of total nitrogen respectively. No butyric acid was found in either untreated or inoculated maize silage. The maize silages made in the bunker silos were well preserved with a DM of 283 and 307 g/kg silage, pH of 3.50 and 3.51, lactic acid of 37.0 and 35.3 g/kg DM for the control and inoculated maize silage, respectively. The addition of the inoculant to maize at ensiling improved the palatability, intake and the aerobic stability of maize silage compared to the untreated control maize silage. The intake of untreated and inoculated maize silage by Jersey cows was 7.6 and 8.4 kg DM/day for the control and inoculant treatment, respectively. Milk production, milk composition, live weight and condition score of Jersey cows was not significantly affected by the addition of the inoculant to maize silage.