Ensiling quality of maize as influenced by the addition of wet distillers grains with soluble
Wet distillers grains with soluble (WDGS) were blended with whole maize plants on an as-fed basis at 0%, 20%, 30%, and 40% and ensiled in 3 L bottles to evaluate the silage fermentation characteristics and ensiling quality in a complete randomized design. Each treatment was ensiled in 15 mini-silos and three bottles were opened on days 7, 21, 42 and 120. Each treatment was sampled for chemical composition and silage fermentation parameters. There was a steady decrease in dry matter (DM) concentration of silage with increasing WDGS inclusion level over time. Initial pH (at day 0) decreased with increasing level of WDGS inclusion, with 40% WDGS inclusion recording the lowest pH (3.6) at day 120. Lactic acid concentration was slightly lower for WDGS-blended silages compared with the control. In contrast, the acetic acid concentration for WDGS-blended silage increased across all treatments, suggesting a possible diminished effect of clostridium bacteria in the silage owing to a reduced pH. The acid detergent fibre (ADF), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and IVDOM (in vitro digestible organic matter) did not differ at the time of ensiling among treatments. During post ensiling, ADF increased slightly over time for WDGS-blended treatments (at 120 days). The results from this study indicated that WDGS could be ensiled effectively with maize plants without compromising silage quality.
Keywords: Acetic acid, butyric acid, fermentation, lactic acid, preservation, silage