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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Conservation and Aerobic Stability of Forage and Sweet Sorghum Silages Treated with Acrylic or Caproic Acid1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 79 No. 4, p. 615-618
    Received: Oct 25, 1985

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  1. N. S. Hill,
  2. G. L. Posler,
  3. K. K. Bolsen and
  4. G. O. Ware2



Application of formic acid to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) or corn (Zea mays L.) at harvest can increase fermentation and lactic acid production during ensiling. By increasing fermentation of the silage mass, potentially more energy can be lost from formic acid applications. Acrylic and caproic acids are effective microbial inhibitors and may be effective at lower concentrations than formic acid, this study was designed to determine the effectiveness of acrylic or caproic acids applied to ‘Rio’ and ‘Dale’ sweet sorghums [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] and DeKalb ‘FS25A’ forage sorghum herbage to conserve sugars in silage and during aerobic exposure. Crops were harvested at black layer stage with a forage chopper and treated with 0,0.5, 1.0,1.5,2.0,2.5, or 5.0 g kg−1 of acrylic or caproic acid. Sugar conservation was evaluated after 130-days ensiling. Sugar conservation was greatest in Rio and FS25A silages. Caproic acid treatments resulted in lower sugar conservation in Dale and FS25A silages. Aerobic stability was measured by monitoring heat production from spoilage during 10-days exposure following ensiling. Application of acrylic acid delayed heating in Rio but gave erratic responses in Dale and FS25A silages when exposed to air. Caproic acid treatments delayed heating at all rates in all silages. Silages that were thermally stable had greater sugar recovery at the end of the aerobic exposure.

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