Influence of Grass Species and Sample Preparation on Ensiling Characteristics
- D. J. R. Cherney *a,
- M. A. Alessib and
- J. H. Cherneya
Laboratory silos are considered a practical method of comparing a number of treatments and are necessary when evaluating numerous experimental variables and their interactions involving different grass silages. Objectives of this study were to evaluate the suitability of grasses ensiled in vacuum-sealed polyethylene bags to assess treatment differences. Four field replicates of three grass species, orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L., OG), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L., RG), and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb., TF), harvested at two dates were ensiled whole or chopped. Bacterially inoculated grass samples (500 g) were ensiled for 0, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, or 30 d. At 30-d post ensiling, lactic acid was the predominant acid, suggesting good fermentation. Differences were noted among species, harvest date, and chop, suggesting that the polyethylene bag is sensitive to treatment differences. There was little or no butyric or propionic acids in the silages, indicating that the silages did not undergo clostridial fermentation. Ensiled grasses dropped rapidly in pH and were stable beyond 4 d for all treatments. Despite species and processing differences, pH of all silages tended to be under 4.7, considered acceptable for grass silages. We conclude that it is possible to use vacuum-sealed plastic bags to ensile temperate grasses to assess treatment differences.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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