Effects of a dual-purpose bacterial inoculant on the fermentation characteristics of high-moisture maize silage and dairy cattle performance
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of inoculating Lactisil Maize, a dual-purpose inoculant, on the fermentation characteristics and nutritive value of high-moisture maize silage and the performance of lactating cows receiving the silage in their diets. Whole-crop maize was harvested at 253 g dry matter (DM)/kg fresh crop. Maize silage was produced with or without Lactisil Maize and ensiled in two different bunkers. Eight multiparous lactating Holstein dairy cows were used in a replicated 2 × 2 Latin square experimental design and were fed total mixed rations that contained 230 g/kg of either inoculated or control maize silage. Inoculation did not affect the nutritive value or the aerobic stability of the maize silage, but increased the neutral detergent and acid detergent fibre fractions of the silage. However, inoculation increased the concentrations of acetic acid and lactic acid, but reduced ammonia N concentration compared to the control. Cows fed the Lactisil Maize-inoculated silage had a lower DM intake, milk yield, and yields of milk fat and milk protein were lower, compared to control. The digestibility of nutrients was not affected by inoculation. It was concluded that although Lactisil Maize inoculation improved the fermentation quality of high-moisture maize silage, it did not improve aerobic stability of the silage or the production performance of dairy cows compared to the control.
Keywords: Low dry matter, aerobic stability, Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus plantarum, anaerobic fermentation, nutrient digestibility