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Silage quality when Moringa oleifera is ensiled in mixtures with Elephant grass, sugar cane and molasses

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Fourteen different silages were prepared using mixtures of Moringa (Moringa oleifera), Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum cv Taiwan) or sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum). Molasses from sugar cane was used in the amounts of either 10 or 50 g kg−1 fresh matter (FM) in treatments without sugar cane. A completely randomized design with three replicates of each treatment was used. The silages were prepared in 1800 mL micro silos and opened after 120 d. The presence of Moringa and Elephant grass in the silage changed the pH by −0·8 and +0·7, respectively (P <0·001), indicating a favourable effect of Moringa on silage pH. Overall differences were found among treatments for dry matter content, crude protein and acetic acid concentrations, weight loss, CO2 production and silage pH after spoilage (P <0·001). Weight loss was proportionately 0·034 and 0·014 in silages with and without sugar cane respectively (P <0·001). Overall, differences (P <0·05) were also found for neutral-detergent fibre and lactic acid concentrations, lactic acid bacteria counts, clostridial counts and time to spoilage of the silages. Treatments containing Moringa had higher lactic acid concentrations (+16 g kg−1 DM; P < 0·01) compared to treatments without but the presence of Moringa decreased time to spoilage by 67 h (P < 0·05). No differences were found in propionic acid concentration or fungal growth of the silages. It is concluded that Moringa can be used as a component of high quality silages which also contain high concentrations of crude protein.

Keywords: Elephant grass; Moringa oleifera; ensiling; spoilage; sugar cane; tropical feedstuffs

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden 2: Faculty of Animal Science, Universidad Nacional Agraria, Managua, Nicaragua 3: Unit of Applied Statistics and Mathematics, Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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