Effects of Homolactic Bacterial Inoculant Alone or Combined with an Anionic Surfactant on Fermentation, Aerobic Stability and In situ Ruminal Degradability of Barley Silage

  • Baah, J. (Lethbridge Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) ;
  • Addah, W. (Lethbridge Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) ;
  • Okine, E.K. (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton) ;
  • McAllister, T.A. (Lethbridge Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
  • Received : 2010.09.08
  • Accepted : 2010.11.02
  • Published : 2011.03.01


The effect of a homolactic inoculant containing a blend of Lactobacillus plantarum, Pediococcus acidilactici and Enterococcus faecium or, the anionic surfactant, sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), alone or in combination on fermentation characteristics, aerobic stability and in situ DM, OM and NDF degradability of barley silage was investigated. Barley (Hordeum vulgare, L.) was harvested (45% DM), chopped and treated with water at 24 ml/kg forage (Control), inoculant at $1.09{\times}10^5$ cfu/g forage (I), SDS at 0.125% (wt/wt) of forage (S) or with the inoculant ($1.09{\times}10^5$ cfu/g) plus SDS (0.125% wt/wt; I+S). The treated forages were ensiled in triplicate mini silos and opened for chemical and microbiological analyses on d 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 42 and 77. Silage samples from d 77 were opened and aerobically exposed for 7 d. The in situ rumen degradability characteristics of silage DM, OM and NDF were also determined. The terminal concentration of NDF in S and I+S was lower (p<0.001) than in other treatments. Lactate concentration was higher (p<0.001) and the rate and extent of pH decline were greater (p<0.001) in I and I+S than S and Control silages. A homolactic pathway of fermentation in I and I+S was evidenced by reduced (p<0.001) water-soluble carbohydrates concentration, higher lactate (p<0.01), lower acetate (p<0.01) and lower pH values (p<0.001) than in S and Control silages. All silages remained stable over 7 d of exposure to air as indicated by lower temperatures and moulds, and by non-detectable yeast populations. The treated silages had lower DM and OM degradability than in the Control but NDF degradation characteristics of I+S were improved compared to other treatments. It is concluded that the inoculant alone improved the fermentation characteristics whereas the combination of the inoculant with SDS improved both fermentation and NDF degradability of barley silage.


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