Abstract The aim was to evaluate the effects of adding a novel Lactobacillus buchneri strain and a commercial inoculant on the fermentation and aerobic stability of sugar cane silages (Saccharum spp.). In the first experiment samples were collected from sugar cane silage at 5, 20, 40 and 80 d after ensilage in experimental silos and microorganisms belonging to the Lactobacillus genus were isolated and identified, with a wild strain of L. buchneri, UFLA SIL 72, being selected as an inoculant. In the second experiment sugar cane was inoculated with either the novel bacteria or a commercial inoculant at the moment of ensiling and compared with a control silage prepared without an inoculant. Experimental silos were opened at 0, 3, 10, 30, 60 and 90 d of ensilage and their chemical composition measured. The silages opened after 90 d were also assessed for aerobic stability. The addition of L. buchneri resulted in a higher concentration of acetic acid and reduced populations of yeasts in silage compared to the other silage treatments, and a lower ethanol concentration in the silage. The novel L. buchneri isolate and the commercial inoculant also improved aerobic stability of the sugar cane silages. It was concluded that the addition of the novel inoculants L. buchneri UFLA SIL 72 to sugar cane silage can be recommended.