Effect of the stage of maturity on the leaf percentage of lucerne and the effect of additives on silage characteristics

https://doi.org/10.17221/345-CJASCitation:Tyrolová Y., Výborná A. (2008): Effect of the stage of maturity on the leaf percentage of lucerne and the effect of additives on silage characteristics. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 53: 329-334.
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The first part of the study concerns the effect of the stage of maturity on nutrient content and leaf percentage of lucerne (Medicago sativa). The plants of lucerne were harvested and analysed at several stages of growth. The crop yield and changes in the concentration of nutrients were determined. The leaf percentage from whole herbage and leaf yield were determined as well. The leaf percentage at the growth stage of small buds was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than at the growth stage of bloom in all three cuts (1st cut 52.7% vs. 46.62%; 2nd cut 52.03% vs. 44.70%; 3rd cut 50.58% vs. 46.26%). Crude protein content of lucerne was decreased significantly (P < 0.05) from the large bud growth stage (small buds 219.6 g/kg DM and large buds 203.1 g/kg DM vs. bloom 173.5 and after bloom 154.2). In the second part of the study, the effect of silage additives on fermentation characteristics of lucerne was investigated. The bacterial inoculant (containing homo- and heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria), chemical additive (containing formic acid, propionic acid, ammonium formate and benzoic acid) and the bacterial inoculant with benzoic acid were used for the improvement of fermentation process.The addition of the inoculant with L. buchneri increased acetic acid (P < 0.05) concentration compared to the silage with chemical additive (group I with inoculant – 1.22%; group Ch with chemical additive – 0.84%; group ICh with chemical additive and inoculant – 1.43). Control silage (C) without additive contained 1.14% acetic acid in dry matter.
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