Effects of lactic acid bacteria inoculation in pre-harvesting period on fermentation and feed quality properties of alfalfa silage

  • Ertekin, Ibrahim (Department of Field Crops, Faculty of Agriculture, Hatay Mustafa Kemal University) ;
  • Kizilsimsek, Mustafa (Department of Field Crops, Faculty of Agriculture, Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University)
  • Received : 2018.10.24
  • Accepted : 2019.03.24
  • Published : 2020.02.01


Objective: To develop the fermentation quality and chemical composition of alfalfa (Medicago sativa Lam.) silage, plants were inoculated with different lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains at field 24 hours before harvest. Methods: The treatment groups were as follow: silage without additive as a control and inoculated with each strains of Lactobacillus brevis (LS-55-2-2), Leuconostoc citerum (L. citerum; L-70-6-1), Lactobacillus bifermentans (L. bifermentans; LS-65-2-1), Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum; LS-3-3) and L. plantarum (LS-72-2). All the silages were stored at 25℃. Parameters such as pH, microorganism and volatile fatty acid contents, crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, net gas, metabolizable energy, organic matter digestibility, dry matter intake and relative feed value were measured to determine fermentation quality, chemical compositions and relative feed value of alfalfa silages. Results: Significant differences were found among the control and treated groups in terms of pH and microorganism contents at all opening times and crude protein, net gas, metabolizable energy and organic matter digestibility of final silage. The pH values ranged from 4.70 to 5.52 for all treatments and control silage had the highest value of overall treatments at T75d silages. Volatile fatty acid of silages was not influenced significantly by inoculations. However, lactic acid content of L. bifermentans (LS-65-2-1) was higher than the other treatments. The highest metabolizable energy and organic matter digestibility were recorded from L. citerum (L-70-6-1) inoculation. In addition, no significant differences were found among treatments in terms of neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, dry matter intake and relative feed value. Conclusion: Among the treated LAB isolates, L. bifermentans came into prominence especially in terms of organic acid composition and quality characters of silages.


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