The Ensilability of Selected Tropical Grasses

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2008-12
Authors
Barber, Kyle J.
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The aims of this thesis were to assess and improve the ensiling of Pennisetum purpureum (Schumach.), Brachiaria mutica (Forssk.) and Panicum maximum (Jacq.) as an option to conserve forage from tropical grasses. Experiments compared the influence of molasses and herbage wilting on the ensiling process. Results showed that silage quality of both direct cut and wilted herbage without molasses was generally poor and of high pH. Wilting reduced dry matter loss, however, it also decreased fermentation rates. The inclusion of molasses improved silage quality in both direct cut and wilted herbage by lowering the pH and increasing lactic acid production. Further, grasses were low in water soluble carbohydrates and had a high buffering capacity which contributed to their difficulty to ensile without a carbohydrate addition. Increasing molasses rates often showed a negative quadratic effect on silage quality, indicating that an optimal rate of molasses may exist.
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76 pages
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