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South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589


BEZERRA, H.F.C. et al. Fermentation characteristics and chemical composition of elephant grass silage with ground maize and fermented juice of epiphytic lactic acid bacteria. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2019, vol.49, n.3, pp.522-533. ISSN 2221-4062.

This study aimed to evaluate the microbial populations, fermentation profile, dry matter recovery and chemical composition of elephant grass silage with ground maize (GM) and the fermented juice of epiphytic lactic acid bacteria (FJLB). A factorial design was used with four levels of GM (0 g/kg, 50 g/kg, 100 g/kg and 200 g/kg), untreated or treated with FJLB, in a completely randomized design with five replicates. A pre-experiment was undertaken to determine the optimum level of sucrose to be added to fermented juice for the development of epiphytic microflora. In this pre-experiment, a completely randomized design with three replications was used. The treatments were represented by the levels of sucrose (0 g/kg, 5 g/kg, 10 g/kg, 20 g/kg, 40 g/kg, 60 g/kg and 80 g/kg, fresh matter basis). The microbial populations, dry matter recovery, and effluent losses were affected by the interaction between GM and FJLB. Dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) contents increased linearly with the inclusion of GM. The addition of GM enhanced the fermentation process via a reduction in losses, and improvements were identified in the nutritional value of elephant grass silages. The use of fermented juice increased dry matter recovery, and its effect was more pronounced when ground maize was added.

Keywords : dry matter recovery; lactic acid; microbiology; Pennisetum purpureum.

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