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Artificial wilting in a forced-air oven has minimal effects on silage fermentation and quality in both inoculated and untreated vacuum-bag mini-silos.

A. Wilder

Events

06-23-2020

Abstract:

166
Artificial wilting in a forced-air oven has minimal effects on silage fermentation and quality in both inoculated and untreated vacuum-bag mini-silos.
A. Wilder*, S. Bosworth. University of Vermont Burlington, VT.

The dry matter content of forage material at ensiling is known to have substantial effects on silage fermentation and quality and is difficult to control when different forages are ensiled for comparison. Conventional wilting practices are unpredictable due to weather variability and a method for consistently wilting forages artificially could be beneficial for fermentation experiments utilizing multiple forage types and sources. We hypothesize that forage material may be wilted in a controlled manner in a forced-air oven at 55�C with little effect on silage fermentation and quality. To this end, 2 experiments were conducted comparing field wilting and oven wilting using alfalfa and red clover forage material. Silage inoculation was also evaluated to determine if the artificial wilting temperature increased the necessity of inoculation before ensiling. Replicated vacuum-bag mini-silos were used and samples were taken after 60 d to determine the fermentation profile and NIR forage quality of the ensiled forage material. Results were analyzed using a factorial ANOVA model. Artificial wilting only resulted in minor differences in silage fermentation and quality and, although inoculation consistently reduced silage pH, the lack of interactions with wilting method suggests that the inoculant functioned similarly in both cases.Table 1. Measures of silage fermentation and quality (g kg−1 DM unless otherwise noted)

MeasureField WiltedOven WiltedSEProbability > F
Inoc.Ctrl.Inoc.Ctrl.WiltingInoc.Wilting � Inoc.
1st-Cut Alfalfa
 DM content (g kg−1 silage)4624444454346.60.04260.0255NS
 Silage pH 4.525.134.564.990.05NS<.0001NS
 Lactic acid697174751.9NSNSNS
 Acetic acid111515262.20.00150.0021NS
 Ammonia192322251.80.02180.0051NS
 Total VFA8086891002.90.00020.0015NS
2nd-cut red cloverNS
 DM content (g kg−1 silage)4634594364359.7NSNSNS
 Silage pH 4.364.534.324.460.040.04750.0001NS
 Lactic acid543660393.1NS0.0001NS
 Acetic acid162417271.8NS0.001NS
 Ammonia10129110.60.01620.0063NS
 Total VFA70.059.877.265.34.09NS0.0146NS

Keywords: artificial wilting, silage fermentation, silage inoculant.

Biography: As a native of Northern Vermont, Allen has a passion for the dairy industry and the working and rural landscape. He holds degrees from Vermont Technical College (VTC) and the University of Vermont (UVM) and also studied at the W.H. Miner Institute in Chazy, NY. Allen has studied extensively under the guidance of UVM agronomist Sid Bosworth and has focused his research on perennial legume-grass mixtures that are commonly grown in the Northcountry.