DO STORAGE AND ENSILING TREATMENTS IMPROVE COMPOSITION AND FIBER DIGESTIBILITY OF CORN STOVER FOR USE IN DAIRY CATTLE DIETS?
Location: Dairy Forage and Aquaculture Research
Project Number: 3655-31000-021-08
Start Date: Mar 30, 2011
End Date: Jun 30, 2012
To determine if ensiling and storing treatments applied to corn stover or the whole corn plant modify the endproduct compostion or in vitro fiber digestibility of this crop residue, and thus, affect its utility for use as a feed for ruminants.
Corn stover of 2 different moisture contents and whole corn plant will be ensiled in 3 separate bag silos. Treatments applied to material in each silo will include control (no amendments), inoculant (Lactobacillus buchneri 500), or the L. buchneri inoculant + an enzyme treatment to give a total of 9 treatments, with 3 replicates of each treatment in each silo bag. Corn stover will also be stored aerobically in 4 bales per treatment of control, yeast, Bacillus exotherm inoculant, or wrapped bale treatments. Previous experiments sponsored by ADM suggest that treatments may improve fiber digestibility and increase the feeding value of corn stover to ruminants. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison has performed the ensiling and baling in a separate experiment and will provide initial and ensiled samples to ARS. Single composited samples from each treatment replication will be analyzed singly for dry matter, ash, nitrogen (crude protein), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), and acid detergent lignin (ADL) composition, one time point for NDF digestibility (e.g., 24 hours) replicated in two in vitro fermentation runs with mixed ruminal microbes, and starch on whole corn plant samples. Ensiled and baled samples will be analyzed for fermentation acids, mold and yeast counts. Data will be analyzed as a randomized complete block design within silo; bales will be analyzed as a randomized complete block. The unensiled or unbaled material will be analyzed by treatment. The same initial stover and whole corn plant material used in the bag silos will also be subject to ensiling in experimental silos and analyzed for lactic acid bacteria and the same analyses used on the materials from the bag silos except for NDF fermentability.