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J Anim Sci. 2000 Nov;78(11):2980-9.

Intake, digestibility, and composition of orchardgrass and alfalfa silages treated with cellulase, inoculant, and formic acid fed to lambs.

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Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames 50011, USA.


The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of a cellulase (from Trichoderma longibrachiatum) alone or combined with a bacterial inoculant (Lactobacillus plantarum and Pediococcus cerevisiae) or formic acid on composition, intake, and digestibility of orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) silages. Orchardgrass and alfalfa were harvested at the early heading stage and at the early bloom stage of maturity and wilted to approximately 22 and 32% DM, respectively. Forages were then ensiled in 100-L sealed barrels for at least 60 d before they were fed to lambs. Silage treated with cellulase had lower (P < .001) pH and lower (P < .001) acetic acid and NH3 N concentrations than untreated silage of both plant species and a higher (P = .004) lactic acid concentration than the control treatment of alfalfa silage. Fermentation characteristics of cellulase-treated silages, especially of alfalfa, were further enhanced by use of inoculant. Formic acid addition increased (P < .001), reducing sugar concentration of cellulase-treated orchardgrass and alfalfa silage by 90 and 154%, respectively, and decreased (P < .001) NH3 N concentration of cellulase-treated alfalfa silage by 19%. Averaged across plant species, cellulase, combined with inoculant or formic acid, resulted in 8 and 13% greater (P = .03) DMI, respectively, than the control silage. Extensive enzymatic cell-wall degradation during ensiling decreased (P = .003) NDF intake of cellulase-treated orchardgrass silage by 25% and decreased (P = .001) cellulose intake by 23%, when averaged across plant species. Addition of formic acid increased (P = .003) NDF intake of cellulase-treated orchardgrass silage by 19%. Averaged across species, cellulase application decreased (P < .05) silage NDF digestibility by 18%. Greater sugar and lower acetic acid, NH3 N, and NDF concentrations resulted in greater DMI of cellulase-treated silage than of control silage, when cellulase was combined with formic acid or inoculant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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