MEKELLE UNIVERSITY

FACULTY OF DRYLAND AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL, RANGE AND WILED SCIENCE

Assignment on: Biochemistry of Silage Production For the course: Advanced Animal Nutrition (LPGS 514)

By: Tekleab Srekebrhan (M. Sc. Student in Livestock production and pastoral development) Submitted to: O.A Abu (Ph. D)

August 2006

Table of content

................................................1 based on the type of microbe involved ...................................................................................................................3.....................6 ....................................11 Achieving an anaerobic environment as quickly as possible helps to limit respiration.............................. The Fermentation Process..............9 3..........2 Disadvantages of silage making?..................................................................................................................3 Table 1.......................................12 ii .....................5 Graphic illustration of lactic acid bacteria pathway ...............................7 3....................................................................... Introduction......3...............1.....2 Based on availability of oxygen the Silo .......................Some fermentation pathway in ensilage process (sources MacDonald 1995)...............................7 .....................................................1 Advantages of silage-making .............................1 Plant Maturity and moisture Content .................3 Other factors /Considerations ......................................................................8 3........................................................11 Chemical changes are the result of plant enzymes activity (respiration and proteolysis) and action of microbes depending on the absence or presence of oxygen............ Conclusion .................................................................................................1 1..................................... Discussion.......3 3.....................................................................................3.............. dry matter loss and mold development and improve bunk life........8 3...................................................................................................................................................................................................................11 5..........................................................8 3....................................................9 4.................................. References.................... spontaneous heating...........................................................3 Silage additives..........2 3.............................................1 2.............2 Nature of the plant............................1 1...........................................................................................

silage should be removed on a daily basis φ no off farm market opportunity The main Objective of this term paper the biochemical change or reactions resulting from the activities of plant enzyme and microbes during silage production process will be reviewed. 1991).  nutrient 1. dry matter losses due to rainfall is reduced loss of leaves and other high quality small plant parts in the field it can stored or preserved for long period of time with minimum lose of minimized. For example.1. 1997. Ensiling has been used in Sweden since the eighteenth century but it is during the last 50 years it has been fully developed (McDonald et al.. It is a biochemical process of both the plant and microbial activities and their effect on the plant material. Introduction Silage is moist feed made by the transformation of plant materials to a preserved fodder which will be achieved by maintaining the anaerobic condition in a silo (Marshal. silage making allows:  Less risk with weather conditions.1 Advantages of silage-making Silage making has some distinct advantages compared to grazing or hay-making. wikipedia). 1 . 1.  (compared to hay-making).2 Disadvantages of silage making? Silage making also has some limitations or drawbacks including: φ requires high capital investment φ once a silo is opened.

1981 indicates during silage fermentation. water and heat.The methods of organization is by . Discussion The biochemistry of Silage production involves any activities or reactions which takes place and results alteration in the chemical and physical status of the ensiled material The two main components in the biochemical process of silage production which affect its nutritional value includes are: 1. internet. personal experience and unpublished materials 2. proteolysis reduces the nutritional value of Microorganisms 2 . The chemical change or reactions resulting from the activities of plant enzyme and microbes during the harvesting and Storage period (which is the intended matter to be discussed in this term paper). 1995) In addition to this the plant enzymes undergo proteolysis.referring books Literatures. (Mc Donald et al. Nitrogen and decline as the pH falls. Plant enzymes These acts on plant tissue just after cutting and during the earlier stage in silo undergoes respiration in which hexose sugars undergo glycolysis and subsequently oxidation via TCA cycle to carbon dioxide. This heat retain in the herbage mass causing increase in temperature. Tremblay et al. which result in depletion of substrate that subsequent fermentation may be adversely affect until the oxygen is removed from the silo. The plant species and stages of harvest 2.

ethanol. The Fermentation Process Silage fermentation is a biological process whereby bacteria are responsible to convert water-soluble carbohydrates to organic acids including lactic acid.uk/asa /adjudications/). acetic acid. sufficient plant water-soluble carbohydrates/sugars.htm) The fermentation processes of silage are classified based on the microbes involved in the process or based on the absence or presence of oxygen in the chemical process. 1995) 3.com/silageinoculants.1 based on the type of microbe involved The desirable processes that take place in a silo with the microbe involvement may be described by a sequence of four phases as follow: Phase 1: Respiration (Fig 1) Once a plant is cut and cells lose their structures. Factors necessary for good fermentation are: anaerobic conditions (no air). 3 .org. proper moisture. Oxygen also reduced and NADH2 is oxidized.asab. proper bacteria (www.vigortone. This equation indicates respiration converts sugar into carbon dioxide. and heat. and carbon dioxide. water. they continue to consume oxygen. But as anaerobic condition develop in the silo they are replaced by anaerobic bacteria (Mc Donald et al.On the fresh herbage Aerobic fungi and bacteria are the dominant microorganisms. Thus respiration results in loss of plant nutrients in the presence of oxygen with in 1 to 2 days (Michel Wattiaux). 3. (http://www.

psu. ethanol.ufl.html Fig 1 respiration process (plant enzyme Phase 2: Early fermentation As oxygen is removed and fermentation begins.forages.forages. enterobacteria become less competitive with decreasing pH.html Phase 4: Stabilization phase The presence of lactic acid inhibits further degradation for the remaining time of preservation period. (H. especially the homofermentative one convert the free sugars into lactic acid.edu/topics/hay_silage/preservation/silage_preserv/index. Danneret et al 2003). (Fig 2. (Michel ) (Table 1. This causes a decrease in pH. the bacteria become predominantly facultative aerobic bacteria mainly enterobacteria.html. Fig 1&2) Phase 3: Lactic acid fermentation The strictly anaerobic lactic acid bacteria. In the process pyruvic acid (produced during glycolysis) is reduced to lactic acid while NADH2 is oxidized. hydrogen and CO2. which converts water-soluble carbohydrate into acetate.htt:/medinfo.edu/topics/hay_silage/preservation/silage_preserv/index. This is archived due to the low pH created in phase 3 stops plant 4 .Source http://www.edu/year2/mmid/bms5300/cases/a43a. As fermentation proceeds. 4) Fig 2 fermentation process (anaerobic microbe-LAB) Source http://www.psu.

psu. Fig 3 deterioration process (clostridia) Source http://www. Marshal 1997) Two other undesirable phases can also take place and cause important loss of dry matter and forage quality in a silo: 1) Butyric acid fermentation by clostridia or butyric acid bacteria.edu/topics/hay_silage/preservation/silage_preserv/index.enzymatic activity and further microbial metabolism which preserves the forage as silage assuming that oxygen is not allowed to penetrate the mass.html Table 1.Some fermentation pathway in ensilage process (sources MacDonald 1995) Lactic acid Bacteria Homofermentative Glucose2 Lactic acid Fructose 2 Lactic acid PentoseLactic acid + acetic acid (***) Hetro fermentative Glucose Lactic acid+ Ethanol + CO2 3 Fructose Lactic acid + 2Mannitol + acetic acid + CO2 3 Fructose + glucose Lactic acid + 2Mannitol + acetic acid + CO2 Pentose  Lactic acid + acetic acid Clostridia Saccharolitic 2 Lactic acid  Butyric acid + 2 CO2 + 2H2 Proteolitic Deamination Leucine Isivaleric acid +NH3 + CO2 Lysine  acetic acid + Butyric acid + 2NH3 Serine  Pyruvic acid + NH3 Tryptophan  Indolepropionic acid + NH3 5 . (Limin Kung1995.forages. which occurs if lactic acid fermentation (Phase 3) fails to produce enough lactic acid to stabilize the silage. 2) Aerobic deterioration by molds and yeast that develop rapidly when well preserved silage is exposed to oxygen after opening a silo.

*** some researcher like Graphic illustration of lactic acid bacteria pathway 6 .Decarbocilation Arginine  Putrescine + CO2 Glutamic acid  γ -aminobutyric acid + CO2 Histadin  Histamine + CO2 Lysine  Cadaverine+ CO2 Tryptophan tryptamine + CO2 Oxidation/reduction (stickland) Alanine + 2glycin  3 acetic acid + 3NH3 + CO2 Enterobacteria bacteria Glucose actic acid + Ethanol + CO2 Tomas James: homofementative bacteria are unable to ferment pentoses.

Adapted from McDonald et al.Lactat Dehaydrogenaseenz yme Figure 4.The heterofermentative pathway of lactic enzyme (1991) in Tomas 1997 . In tomas 1997 Lactate 7 Dehydrogenase acid bacteria. Adapted from McDonald et al. Figus 5. (1991). The homofermentative pathway of lactic acid bacteria.

3. thereby producing less stable silages that have lower lactic acid concentrations and less acidic (higher pH).gov. Predominately lacto~ bacilli species produce lactic acid from the fermented plant material.2 Based on availability of oxygen the Silo We can also classify the fermentation based on availability of oxygen the Silo in to two main phases. 8 . Under this conditions plant enzymes and microorganisms consume oxygen and bum up the plant water-soluble carbohydrates producing CO2 and heat. Consequently lowers the pH of the silage and fermentation completely ceases after 3 to 4 weeks and microbial growth is inhibited.nsf/all /for4911 ) The fist or Aerobic phase This occurs in the presence of oxygen. rancid odor and are poorly consumed by cattle. In contrast. (Ensiling process www. 3. High forage moisture levels at ensiling may cause silage effluent and favor undesirable (clostridial) fermentations.3 Other factors /Considerations 3.ab. aerobic bacteria cease to function. Silages dominated by this type of fermentation have a strong. ensiling forages when the moisture content is low (less than 50%) can result in restricted fermentations.1 Plant Maturity and moisture Content Proper maturity assures adequate fermentable sugars for silage bacteria and maximum nutritional value for livestock. The second or anaerobic phase Begins when the available oxygen is used up through plant respiration.3. Then anaerobic bacteria begin to multiply rapidly and the fermentation process begins.ca/ $department/deptdocs.agric.

ruralni.heath. (3) substrate sources.html. Acid tolerant.htm). Legumes are widely used ensiling material as they are rich in protein. Marshal. P. This leads to silage protein degradability and also evidence of mold and spontaneous heating in these silages. (Maurice E. Response to additives depend on what forage is being treated. Common LAB used in silage inoculants are: Lactobacillus plantarum. 1995). acidophilus. (1) Inoculants this is to ensure adequate quantities of lactic acid-producing bacteria (www.2). high buffering capacity (resistant to pH changes) and high moisture content. Effective silage fermentation must therefore promote high levels of lactic acid production and create a low pH (3. L.gov.3. However it arises several problems due to their low content of sugars..edu/agf-fact/0018.3. Weinberg & Muck.3 Silage additives The main function of silage additives are either to increase nutritional value of silage or improve fermentation so that storage losses are reduced. 3.8-4. 9 . 1996 indicates the inoculant’s criteria to be Homofermentative lactic acid bacterium. http://ohioline. Ability to grow at temperatures up to 50°C.2 Nature of the plant The best silage is made from carbohydrate rich crops that contain more than two part of carbohydrate to one part of protein like maize and sorghum (Martin J. This aids in more efficient production of lactic acid as the primary end-product which helps to lower the pH level quickly.vigortone. Pediococcus cerevisiae. 1997 also agreed that almost all crops can be ensiled provided that it contains adequate level of moisture and sufficient amount of readily fermentable carbohydrates. (2) enzymes.3.com/silageinoculants. acidilactici.uk/index/publications press articles_dairy /silage additives/ additives can be grouped into four categories: (1) inoculants. and Streptococcus faecium.osu. and 4) inhibitors. 1985) Based on Conail Keown description www.

2. such as molasses. sucrose and dextrose that provide additional substrate for lactic acid-producing bacteria. Sheperd. 1995) 10 .uk/asa /adjudications/non_broadcast/) by inhibiting the fermentation process and growth of all microbes in the silo (Mcdonald. are primarily organic acids that effectively sterilize the silage (http://www.) They degrade plant cell walls to reduce the concentrations of neutral and acid detergent fiber in the silage and. 1994. propionic. et al 1994. at the same time. 4. (Wayne Coblentz) 3. pectinases. Enzyme additives: Various fiber degrading enzymes (xylanases. Formic. hemicellulases) and starch degrading enzymes (amylase) have been used (Chen. Applied Environmental Microbiology. Substrate sources are primarily sugars. which is primary substrate for lactic acidproducing bacteria. hydrochloric and sulfuric acids. glucose. cellulases.org. Silage inhibitors have frequently been used in extremely wet silages where drying conditions are often poor. Acetic acid has been proven to be the sole substance responsible for the increased aerobic stability.asab. release additional sugar.

The necessary factors are: anaerobic conditions. vigortone.4. proper bacteria (www. sufficient plant water-soluble carbohydrates or sugars. proper moisture. Conclusion Good fermentation is desirable for proper storage and feeding. spontaneous heating. Achieving an anaerobic environment as quickly as possible helps to limit respiration. dry matter loss and mold development and improve bunk life 11 .htm) Chemical changes are the result of plant enzymes activity (respiration and proteolysis) and action of microbes depending on the absence or presence of oxygen.com/silageinoculants .

Effect of an additive containing plant cell wall degrading enzymes on the nutritive value of corn silage for ruminants.ufl. A. 4. The biochemistry of silage second ed. & Heron. American Society for Microbiology) 2. Silage inoculant in www. 16. and R. 2004 in http://www.ogr/wikiTomas J Rees.edu/agf-fact/0018. Gillespie J.ruralni.edu/year2/mmid/bms5300/cases/a43a. B. Robert F Barnes and Darrel S. 2001). 77:501. M.psu. Stamp DL. Dairy Sci. University of Delaware. Marshal H Jurgen . 18-20 June 2001.brighton73. 1990.gov.R.R. In www.nodak. Thesis... Schroeder J.S. wcds. Mc Donald et al.ndsu..Making Dairy Updates Feeding No. http://www. of Applied Environtal Microbiology. Chalcombe Publications in Lactic acid bacteria in silage – growth.freeserve.edu/topics/hay_silage/preservation/silage_preserv/index. 2003 January. Silage 231-239) 13.osu. animal nutrition 5th ed. www. Kendal /hunt publishing comp.uk/asa/adjudications/non_broadcast /) 8.html 10. J.Modern livestock and poultry production 4th ed. S. References 1.edu/Other_Areas/pdf 12 . J. Silage 707-709) 7. 1997.wisc. 24. 9. Bélanger.ca/$department/deptdocs. Stokes.ab. Wikipidia . Conail Keown.. Kaamanen. . 2003 January.J. K. Silage Additives Profit Makers or Profit Takers? http://www. Jr. Finland.ag.R. (Published in Rangifer Report No. 69(1): 562–567. and R.wikipidia.uk/tomsplace/scientific/phd/ ntroduction /phd-intr.html..edu 18.gov. Maurice E.R. 1994. Doctoral Research Thesis. 81: 685– 692 23. Holzer. J.E.agric. antibacterial activity and antibiotic resistance Sandra Jansson MSc thesis 2005. M.C.html 17. Effects of enzyme-inoculant systems on preservation and nutritive value of haycrop and corn silages. Tremblay G. Leonard WH. Principles of Silage making. 1991.uk/index/ publications /press_articles_dairy/ silage _additives. 1995 silage pp 451-464) 15. Mauri Nieminen & Liisa Syrjälä-Qvist.nsf/all/for4911 6.heath. Ulla Heiskari. Danner H. 5. E. 20. McRae. Silages pp 211-216 12. WWW. Abstracts of posters presented at the 11th Nordic Conference on Reindeer Research.co.W. Chen.iowastate University press USA 14. http://ohioline.htm 22. McDonald. Applied Environtal Microbiology. Braun Acetic Acid Increases Stability of Silage under Aerobic Conditions. http://www. Plant Sci.com/silageinoculants.htm) 21. 502 University of Wisconsin http://babcock. Sheperd. Michel Wattiaux Introduction to Silage. Copyright © 2003. 5.ca/Proceedings/1995/wcd95159. Mayrhuber. www. A. medinfo.5. 69(1): 562–567.. Ensiling process www. Wayne Coblentz.org. Wallace. the free encyclopedia entry . G.cals. martin JH.edu/ 19. J. 3. Michaud Can. and C.htm 11. 1994.Metcalfe. P. Animal feeding and nutrition 8th Ed.asab. Forages the science and of grass land agriculture. Limin Kung. M. Cranfield University.vigortone.uaex. 1995 Principles Of Field Crop Production 3rd ed.afns. alberta. Henderson.forages. 1997 The Development of a Novel Antifungal Silage Inoculant. 4th ed 1985.

NDF. data from a fermentation analyses can tell us whether an excellent. 3075 40 % % D D M Item . These analyses are now available for evaluating silage quality on farms through commercial forage testing laboratories. average. However. What are normal ranges for fermentation analyses? Table 1.e. 35% 45 55 DM % DM 13 Corn HM Corn. but they cannot be used to balance diets for cattle. Concentrations of common fermentation end products in various silages. NDF digestion. ADF. Analyses commonly included in silage fermentation reports are pH. ammonia. silo management during storage. In general. fresh legumes have a higher buffering capacity than do fresh grasses or corn.). and sugar content. Sila 70 ge. but not all cases. The purpose of this Focus on Forage is to answer the most frequently asked questions about the interpretation and use of these reports. or poor fermentation has occurred. the fermentation that a crop undergoes can be explained by various crop factors such as moisture content. Based on theses analyses. and ethanol. acetic. propionic and butyric acids. they should always be used in conjunction with other standard chemical analyses (i. and silo management during feed-out can affect fermentation analyses. buffering capacity. type of additive used. Sila 30ge. A fresh forage with a high buffering capacity will require more acid to reduce its pH than a forage with a low buffering capacity. All forages have different buffering capacities. Legume Silag e. silage pack density. etc. RDP/RUP. Thus. In many. What does buffering capacity mean and what does it tell us about silage quality? Buffering capacity measures to what degree a forage sample will resist a change in pH. What do these reports tell us about the fermentation process and silage quality? Collectively. NEL. lactic. 30 40% DM1 Legume Grass Silage.INTERPRETATION AND USE OF SILAGE FERMENTATION ANALYSIS REPORTS By Limin Kung and Randy Shaver Introduction Fermentation analyses have long been used in university and industry research trials to assess silage quality. CP. In some cases fermentation analyses can qualitatively explain poor silage nutritive value or low intakes. chop length. we can usually make some educated assumptions about the kinds of microorganisms that controlled the ensiling process. management factors such as silo packing speed.

4.5.2.5 .0 10 . Secondly.6 to 4.8).spoiled or moldy silages . Common reasons for legume silages having a pH higher than 4. Such cases may be associated with extremely dry (>42% dry matter) silages that are overly mature or drought stricken.7 . which restricts fermentation.4.silage with excess ammonia or urea . legume silages have a higher pH than corn or other grass silages and take longer to ensile because of their higher buffering capacity. But.3 .dry silage (> 50% DM) -silage not fully fermented due to early sampling time relative to harvest. Some common reasons for a high silage pH are as follows: . propionic and butyric) and thus usually responsible for most of the drop in silage pH.5 .pH Lactic acid.1.0 0. % Propionic acid. % Ammonia-N. Some common reasons for low lactic acid content are as follows: Extremely wet silages (< 25% DM).2 .5 < 12 4. However.5 .clostridial silages .2. Two samples may have the same pH.4. but is also affected by the buffering capacity of the crop. fermentations that produce lactic acid result in the fewest losses of dry matter and energy from the crop during storage.2.5 .silages containing manure What does a low lactic acid concentration tell us about the fermentation process and silage quality? Lactic acid should be the primary acid in a good silage.7 .12 M 3. In general.8 include: ensiling at <30% dry matter (DM) which causes a clostridial fermentation.15 4.10 1-3 < 0. 4. % Butyric acid.7 6 . % Acetic acid. in the second example.4.0 < 10 What does a high pH value tell us about the fermentation process and silage quality? The pH of an ensiled sample is a measure of its acidity. In the first example.5 0. but different concentrations of acids. This acid is stronger other acids in silage (acetic.0 2-4 0. % of CP 1 DM = Dry matter. loose packing. a high pH due to clostridia is a definite indicator of an undesirable fermentation that has led to poor quality silage.0 8 . and slow or poor packing -Legume silages with extremely high ash contents (> 15% of DM) and (or) high protein content (> 23-24% CP) .0 < 0.1 0 0. and ensiling at > 45-50% DM.0 .1 0 0.7 7–8 2–3 < 0. cold weather during harvest. silage from a restricted fermentation usually is unstable when exposed to air because insufficient amounts of acid were produced to inhibit secondary microbial growth.1.0 < 0.2 4-7 1-3 < 0.1. Because of its normally low pH (3.1 0. a high pH due to restricted fermentation is not always indicative of a poor fermentation or poor silage.5 < 0.5 0. corn silage intake usually benefits from the addition of sodium bicarbonate prior to feeding to neutralize its acidity.2. Seldom do corn silages have a pH higher than 4.5 < 0.3 .1 0 1-3 5-7 4.2 . % Ethanol. or slow silo filling can result in silages with high concentrations of 14 . prolonged fermentations (due to high buffering capacity).

the amount of that silage should be reduced in the TMR. Are there additives that can increase the propionic acid concentration of silage? Biological additives that theoretically increase the propionic acid concentration of silage usually contain bacteria from the Propionibacteria family. However. Other alternatives for managing these silages include: aerating the silage for a day to volatilize the acetic acid. However. In silages with more typical concentrations of DM (35 to 45% DM). some studies can be found where DM intake was depressed when silage high in acetic acid concentration was fed to ruminants. the depression in intake to high acetic acid in the diet has not been consistent. which was added to improved aerobic stability. In such silages.2 to 0. animals showed no indication of reduced intake when fed silages high in acetic acid due to inoculation with the bacteria Lactobacillus buchneri. Silages treated with ammonia also tend to have higher concentrations of acetic acid than untreated silage. research suggests that these organisms are usually unable to compete in normal silage environments and are thus. A new microbial inoculant (Lactobacillus buchneri) designed for improving the aerobic stability of silages causes higher than normal concentrations of acetic acid in silages. If a producer has intake problems due to silages with excessively high acetic acid (> 5 to 6% of DM). For example. There has been speculation that decreased intake may be actually due to unidentified negative factors associated with a poor fermentation and not to acetic acid itself. What does a high butyric acid concentration tell us about the fermentation process and silage quality? A high concentration of butyric acid (>0. removing the silage and then gradually reincorporating it back into the diet over a 2 –3 week period. production of acetic acid from this organism should not be mistaken for a poor ermentation and feeding treated silages with a high concentration of acetic acid does not appear to cause negative effects on animal intake.acetic acid (>3 to 4% of DM). in recent studies.3%) unless the silage is very wet (< 25% DM). and partially neutralizing the silage with sodium bicarbonate prior to feeding (about 0.15 to 0. concentrations of propionic acid may be undetectable. Silages high in butyric acid 15 . usually ineffective. because the fermentation is prolonged by the addition of the ammonia that raises pH. What does silage propionic acid concentration tell us? Most silages contain very low concentrations of propionic acid (< 0.5 to 1% addition on DM basis). However. energy and DM recovery are probably less than ideal. In the past.30% (DM basis) if added at 2 to 4 lb per ton of wet (~35% DM) silage. What affect does silage with a high acetic acid concentration have on animal performance? The effect of high concentrations of acetic acid (> 4 to 6% of DM) in silages fed to animals is unclear at this time. These additives can range markedly in their percentage of active ingredients but most mainstream products will increase the concentration of propionic acid at ensiling from 0 to about 0. which is one of the poorest fermentations. Chemical additives containing propionic acid are more effective for increasing the concentration of this acid in silages.5% of DM) indicates that the silage has undergone clostridial fermentation.

Most ethanol that is consumed is probably converted to acetic acid in the rumen. intake and production can suffer. These silages are also usually very prone to spoilage when the silage is exposed to air. this could have negative consequences on milk and reproductive performances. wetter silages have higher concentrations of ammonia. What does a high ammonia concentration tell us about the fermentation process and silage quality? High concentrations of ammonia (>10 to 15% of CP) are a result of excessive protein breakdown in the silo caused by a slow drop in pH or clostridial action. Extremely wet silages (< 30% DM) have even higher ammonia concentrations because of the potential for clostridial fermentation. if the high ammonia contributes to an excess of ruminally-degraded protein (RDP). total removal or dilution of the poor silage is advised. 16 . Blood or milk urea nitrogen can be used as an indicator of excess RDP. Usual amounts of ethanol in silages are low (< 1 to 2% of DM). As with other poor quality silages. Can silage fermentation reports be used to help in balancing of diets for dairy cattle? We know of no acceptable method that uses silage fermentation analyses for balancing nutrient requirements for dairy cattle. Often times. that may reduce animal performance. silage with high concentrations of ammonia coupled with butyric acid may also have significant concentrations of other undesirable end products. high amounts of ammonia (by itself) in silage should not have negative effects on animal performance if the total dietary nitrogen fractions are in balance. Dry matter recovery is usually worse in silages with large numbers of yeasts.are usually low in nutritive value and have higher ADF and NDF levels because many of the soluble nutrients have been degraded. Such silages may also be high in concentrations of soluble proteins and may contain small protein compounds called amines that have sometimes shown to adversely affect animal performance. such as amines. In general. What is a high ethanol concentration and what does it tell us about the fermentation process and silage quality? High concentrations of ethanol are usually an indicator of excessive metabolism by yeasts. Extremely high amounts of ethanol (> 3 to 4% of DM) in silages may cause off flavors in milk. However. What affect does silage with high ammonia concentration have on animal performance? Theoretically. Silages packed too loosely and filled too slowly also tend to have high ammonia concentrations. What affect does silage with high butyric acid concentration have on animal performance? High butyric acid has sometimes induced ketosis in lactating cows and because the energy value of silage is low. What affect does silage with high ethanol concentration have on animal performance? We do not know the level at which ethanol becomes a problem in dairy cattle diets.

17 . WI • Contact: Don Meyer. If silage was treated with about 2 lb/ton of fresh forage using a buffered propionic acid product. If your goal is to see what type of fermentation process the silage went through. (920) 261-0446.15% propionic acid. one might be able to detect the increase in this acid. unless done in a well controlled research trial. MD • Contact: Ralph Ward. (608) 323-2123. rrllab@execpc. silage fermentation reports may be able to identify the reason for intake or performance problems. However. WI • Contact: Dave Taysom. How should silage samples be handled and shipped for fermentation analyses? For chemical fermentation analyses.com High-performance liquid chromatography • Dairyland Laboratories • Arcadia. then collect a sample that is a fresh as possible and that has not been exposed to air (typically at least 8 to 10 inches below or beyond the face). dtaysom@dairylandlabs. What commercial testing laboratories perform silage fermentation analyses? To the best of our knowledge. then shipped preferably on ice in a cooler by a next day delivery service. the following commercial forage testing laboratories perform fermentation analyses: Gas chromatography • Cumberland Valley Analytical Services • Maugansville. cvas@intepid. How should silage samples be taken for fermentation analyses? If your goal is to evaluate what animals are being fed. (301) 790-1980. Most silages have < 0.net Near-infrared • Rock River Laboratories • Watertown.How can silage fermentation reports be used for troubleshooting animal performance problems? Assuming that all nutrients are balanced properly in the diet. Can silage fermentation reports tell us whether or not a silage additive worked? Usually not. one might be able to tell if a propionic acid product were added to silage since most silages typically are low in this acid. samples should be frozen immediately after being taken. then samples should be reflective of this by sampling at feeding.com Current information on analytical costs and sample turn-around time is best obtained directly from the individual labs. not end of the week so samples will not be held up during the weekend. Ship at the beginning. as of August 2001.

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