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Effects of Corn Silage Inoculants on Aerobic Stability

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  021068,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.9144) @2002
Authors:   Richard E. Muck
Keywords:   Silage, aerobic stability, inoculant, lactic acid bacteria, corn

Aerobic stability of corn silage can be a major problem for farmers particularly in warm weather. Silage inoculants, while the most common type of silage additive, have not been effective at improving aerobic stability. This study investigated new and proposed inoculant products over three years on corn silage in mini-silos. Three new approaches were tested: enhanced homofermentative inoculants, a standard inoculant plus sodium benzoate, and heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus buchneri). These approaches were compared with untreated as well as four standard homofermentative lactic acid bacterial inoculants. The standard inoculants on average reduced aerobic stability 17 h relative to untreated silage. The best enhanced inoculant increased stability one year in three. The standard inoculant plus sodium benzoate increased stability but was only tested in one year. The L. buchneri inoculants improved stability consistently all three years except in one case where one of these products had low viability. Overall, the L. buchneri products appear to be most consistent at improving the aerobic stability of corn silage of those commercially available.

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