The effect of treating alfalfa with Lactobacillus buchneri 40788 on silage fermentation, aerobic stability, and nutritive value for lactating dairy cows.J Dairy Sci. 2003 Jan; 86(1):336-43.JD
Lactobacillus buchneri 40788 and enzymes (beta-glucanase, alpha-amylase, xylanase, and galactomannase) were applied to chopped alfalfa (39% DM) to study their effects on the fermentation and nutritive value of the silage. Alfalfa was treated with nothing, or L. buchneri 40788, for a final application rate of 1 x 10(5), 5 x 10(5), or 1 x 10(6) cfu/g of fresh forage and ensiled in laboratory silos for 2, 4, 8, and 56 d. Treatment with L. buchneri 40788 had few effects on the end products of fermentation through 8 d of ensiling. However, after 56 d of ensiling, treated silages had a higher pH (4.55 vs. 4.38) and higher concentrations of acetic acid (6.40 vs. 4.24%), propionic acid (0.18 vs. 0.06%), and ammonia-N (0.35 vs. 0.29%) when compared to untreated silage. Lactic acid was also numerically lower in treated (3.51%) than untreated (4.12%). Silages treated with the moderate and highest dose of L. buchneri 40788 also resulted in greater recoveries of DM than did untreated silage. Alfalfa (43% DM) was also untreated or treated with a commercial application of L. buchneri 40788 (4 x 10(5) cfu/g, a commercial dose) in farm-scale bag silo. Holstein cows were fed a diet comprised of 32% untreated or treated alfalfa silage, 11% corn silage, 5% chopped alfalfa hay, and 52% of concentrate (DMB) for a 6-wk treatment period. Dry matter intake and milk composition were unaffected by treatment, but cows fed silage treated with L. buchneri 40788 produced 0.8 kg more milk than did cows fed untreated silage. Treated silage had a higher concentration of acetic acid (5.67 vs. 3.35%) but lower lactic acid (3.50 vs. 4.39%) than untreated silage. When exposed to air, the total mixed ration containing treated alfalfa silage remained stable for 100 h, whereas the ration containing untreated silage spoiled after 68 h. Treating alfalfa silage with L. buchneri 40788 increased the concentration of acetic acid, and when the silage was combined into a total mixed ration and fed to lactating cows, it improved the aerobic stability of the ration and increased milk production.