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Effects of calcium propionate on the fermentation quality and aerobic stability of alfalfa silage

  • Dong, Zhihao ;
  • Yuan, Xianjun ;
  • Wen, Aiyou ;
  • Desta, Seare T. ;
  • Shao, Tao
  • Received : 2016.12.13
  • Accepted : 2017.03.21
  • Published : 2017.09.01

Abstract

Objective: To assess the potency of calcium propionate (CAP) used as silage additive, an experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of CAP on the nitrogen transformation, fermentation quality and aerobic stability of alfalfa silages. Methods: Alfalfa was ensiled with four levels of CAP (5, 10, 15, and 20 g/kg of fresh weight [FW]) in laboratory silos for 30 days. After opening, the silages were analyzed for the chemical and microbiological characteristics, and subjected to an aerobic stability test. Results: The increasing proportion of CAP did not affect pH, lactic acid (LA) concentrations and yeast counts, while linearly decreased counts of enterobacteria (p = 0.029), molds (p<0.001) and clostridia (p<0.001), and concentrations of acetic acid (p<0.001), propionic acid (p<0.001), butyric acid (p<0.001), and ethanol (p = 0.007), and quadratically (p = 0.001) increased lactic acid bacteria counts. With increasing the proportion of CAP, the dry matter (DM) loss (p<0.001), free amino acid N (p<0.001), ammonia N (p = 0.004), and non-protein N (p<0.001) contents were linearly reduced, whereas DM (p = 0.048), water soluble carbohydrate (p<0.001) and peptide N (p<0.001) contents were linearly increased. The highest Flieg's point was found in CAP10 (75.9), represented the best fermentation quality. All silages treated with CAP improved aerobic stability as indicated by increased stable hours compared with control. Conclusion: The addition of CAP can suppress the undesirable microorganisms during ensiling and exposure to air, thereby improving the fermentation quality and aerobic stability as well as retarding the proteolysis of alfalfa silage. It is suggested that CAP used as an additive is recommended at a level of 10 g/kg FW.

Keywords

Alfalfa;Calcium Propionate;Fermentation Quality;Aerobic Stability

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Cited by

  1. Fermentation quality and aerobic stability of mulberry silage prepared with lactic acid bacteria and propionic acid pp.13443941, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1111/asj.13181
  2. Fermentation dynamics and diversity of bacterial community in four typical woody forages pp.1869-2044, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13213-018-1398-z
  3. Characterization of nitrogen transformation dynamics in alfalfa and red clover and their mixture silages pp.17446961, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1111/grs.12230

Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China, Central Universities