109(1)_str 11

ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 109, No. 1 (2022), p. 81–88
DOI 10.13080/z-a.2022.109.011

Inoculation of whole-plant maize with viable lactic acid bacteria: effects on silage fermentation, aerobic stability and performance of dairy cows



The study was aimed to evaluate the effect of the addition of a lactic acid bacteria (LAB) inoculant to whole-plant maize at ensiling on the quality, aerobic stability of the silage as well as the intake, milk production and milk composition of Lithuanian black and white dairy cows fed inoculated or not inoculated maize silage diets. The inoculant contained Lactobacillus plantarum, L. brevis and L. kefiri as well as carrier inulin. Maize was ensiled in two silo trenches with or without the inoculant. Chemical and microbiological analyses were carried out on a representative sample of the 5 replicates for each control and inoculated silage at day 92 of storage. At day 92 of ensiling, the silage was exposed to air to determine the aerobic stability. Inoculation caused a reduction in pH value, increased lactate and propionate concentrations and decreased ammonia nitrogen, ethanol and butyrate concentrations. Yeast and mould contamination was reduced in the inoculated silage, which led to an increased aerobic stability compared to the not inoculated one. The inoculated silage had a higher energy concentration, and cows fed on it produced higher fat and energy corrected milk yield from day 69 until end of the experiment (day 92). Milk from cows fed the inoculated silage had a higher fat percentage, similar contents of protein and a lower number of somatic cell counts compared with that from cows fed control. Feed efficiency was improved in cows fed the inoculant treated silage compared to the conventionally produced silage.

Keywords: aerobic stability, fermentation, inoculant, trench silo, feed efficiency.

Full text