This study is to evaluate the effect of different levels of ensiling density on the fermentation quality of guineagrass silages during the early stage of ensiling. Guineagrass at the milky ripe stage was chopped and ensiled into a small-scale laboratory silo at two ensiling density levels (high density at 95 g/silo and low density at 75 g/silo). Three silos per level were opened after six ensiling periods (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3 and 7 days of ensiling) and the fermentation qualities were analyzed. Within the initial 1.5 days of ensiling there were not significant (p>0.05) differences in the fermentation qualities between two density levels silages, and an almost constant pH and no or only small amounts of lactic acid, acetic acid and total volatile fatty acids were detected. However, the high density silage significantly (p<0.05) increased the rate and extent of fermentation after 1.5 days of ensiling, which was well reflected in significantly (p<0.05) faster and larger pH decline and lactic acid production at each elapsed time as compared with the low density silage. This resulted in significantly (p<0.05) lower finial pH and significantly (p<0.05) higher lactic acid content at the end of the experiment. Moreover, there was higher AA content relative to LA in both the H-D and L-D silages during the full fermentation course, and resulted in the AA-type silage. There were generally somewhat or significantly (p<0.05) higher acetic acid, volatile fatty acids and ammonia-N/total nitrogen in the high density silage than in the low density silage during the initial 3 days of ensiling. However, there were higher (p>0.05) ammonia-N/total nitrogen and significantly (p<0.05) higher butyric acid content in the low density silage at day 7 of ensiling. The silages of two density levels showed an initial increase in glucose between 0.5 and 1 day for the high density silage and between 1 and 1.5 days for the low density silage, respectively, thereafter showed a large decrease until the end of the experiment. There were not large differences (p>0.05) in ethanol content between the low density and high density silages that showed small amounts within initial 3 days of ensiling. However, the low density silage had a significantly (p<0.05) higher ethanol content than the high density silage at the end of experiment. From the above results it was suggested that the increase in ensiling density was an effective method to improve the fermentation quality, especially for tropical grasses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology