The objective of this study was to evaluate effects of lactic acid bacteria and propionic acid on the fermentation quality and aerobic stability of oats-common vetch mixed silage by using a small-scale fermentation system on the Tibetan plateau. (i) An inoculant (Lactobacillus plantarum) (L) or (ii) propionic acid (P) or (iii) inoculant+propionic acid (PL) were used as additives. After fermenting for 60 days, silos were opened and the aerobic stability was tested for the following 15 days. The results showed that all silages were well preserved with low pH and NH3-N, and high lactic acid content and V-scores. L and PL silages showed higher (P<0.05) lactic acid and crude protein content than the control silage. P silage inhibited lactic acid production. Under aerobic conditions, L silage had similar yeast counts as the control silage (>105cfu/g fresh matter (FM)); however, it numerically reduced aerobic stability for 6h. P and PL silages showed fewer yeasts (<105cfu/g FM) (P<0.05) and markedly improved the aerobic stability (>360h). The result suggested that PL is the best additive as it could not only improved fermentation quality, but also aerobic stability of oats-common vetch mixed silage on the Tibetan plateau.
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