Effect of Lactobacillus buchneri 40788 and Buffered Propionic Acid on Preservation and Nutritive Value of Alfalfa and Timothy High-moisture Hay

  • Baah, J. (Lethbridge Research Centre Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) ;
  • McAllister, T.A. (Lethbridge Research Centre Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Centre) ;
  • Bos, L. (Wageningen University, Department of Animal Sciences) ;
  • Herk, F. Van (Lethbridge Research Centre Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) ;
  • Charley, R.C. (Lallemand Animal Nutrition Canada)
  • Received : 2004.07.12
  • Accepted : 2004.12.27
  • Published : 2005.05.01


The effects of Lactobacillus buchneri 40788 and buffered propionic acid on preservation, intake and digestibility of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and timothy (Phleum pratense) hay were investigated. During baling, forages were treated with L. buchneri 40788 (1.2${\times}$10$^6$ CFU/g) as a liquid (LLB) or as a granular preparation (GLB), with buffered propionic acid (10 mL/kg, BPA), or left untreated (control). Triplicate 500 kg round bales of each treatment were put up at two moisture levels for each forage: 17%${\pm}$0.33% and 20%${\pm}$0.30% for timothy and 17%${\pm}$0.20% and 19%${\pm}$0.27% for alfalfa (mean${\pm}$SD). Bales were sampled for chemical and microbiological analyses after 0, 30 and 60 d of storage. Compared to controls, all preservatives reduced (p<0.05) heating of both forages at all moisture levels with the exception of alfalfa baled at 19% moisture. After 60 d of storage, GLB reduced (p<0.05) moulds in 17% timothy hay as compared to other treatments, but at 20% moisture, moulds were reduced in LLB- and BPA-treated timothy as compared to controls. In alfalfa at 17% moisture, total bacteria were lower (p<0.05) in GLB-treated bales than LLB or control bales, but yeast and total bacteria were only reduced in BPA-treated alfalfa at 19% moisture. In situ DM disappearance of timothy (both moisture levels) and alfalfa (19% moisture level) increased (p<0.05) with LLB treatment compared to control. Digestibility of both forages did not differ (p>0.05) among treatments, however, voluntary DM intake of LLB-treated timothy (1.32 kg/d) was 22.3% higher (p<0.05) than control, and 14.1% higher than BPA-treated timothy. Treating timothy and alfalfa hay with L. buchneri 40788 or buffered propionic acid may improve the nutritive value of the hay when baled at 17 to 20% moisture.


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