Urea as a silage additive increases crude protein but reduces fermentation quality of silage by increasing pH and enhancing clostridial bacteria growth, especially in low sugar forages. Glucose and formic acid might be expected to compensate these defects caused by urea addition to grass silage. Thus, in this experiment urea formic acid or urea with glucose was applied to improve N content and the quality of napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.) silage. The first growth of napiergrass was harvested at 85 days of age and about 700 g of the grass was ensiled in laboratory silos (1.0 liter polyethylene containers) for 2, 7, 14, and 30 days at room temperature (28°C). The treatments were no additives (control), urea, urea+glucose or urea+formic acid. Urea was added before ensiling at 0.5% of fresh weight of napiergrass and glucose and formic acid were added at 1% of fresh weight, respectively. After opening the silo, pH, dry matter content (DM), contents on DM basis of total N (TN), volatile basic nitrogen (VBN), lactic acid (LA), acetic acid (AA) and butyric acid (BA) were determined. The control at 30 days of fermentation showed 5.89 for pH with 13.8% for VBN/TN and 1.51% for AA. The addition of urea increased TN by about 1.5% units but decreased the fermentation quality by increasing pH from 5.89 to 6.86, increasing VBN/TN from 13.8% to 24.63%, increasing BA from 0.02% to 0.56%, and decreasing LA from 1.03% to 0.02%. Glucose addition with urea significantly decreased VBN/TN from 13.8% to 4.44% by reducing pH from 6.86 to 4.83 because of higher production of LA (2.62%). Adding urea and formic acid resulted in a more pronounced depression of VBN/TN and fermentation than the addition of urea and glucose. This study suggested that the combination of 1% glucose or 1% formic acid with 0.5% urea will improve nutritive value and fermentation quality of napiergrass silage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology