Sucrose supplementation improves the quality of alfalfa silage for feeding dairy cows


Figure 1. (A) Principal coordinate analysis (PCoA). (B) Relative abundance of microbiota at phylum level in alfalfa silage samples. (C) Relative abundance of the microbiota at the genus level. Credit: DOI: 10.3389 / fmicb.2021.670165

Alfalfa silage is one of the main feeds in dairy cow production. It can provide high quality nutrition to improve the quality and production of milk. Sucrose additions have been widely used to improve the quality of silage.

When ensiling the forage, the types of microorganisms present during fermentation also play an essential role.

Researchers at the Institute of Subtropical Agriculture (ISA) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences studied the effects of sucrose-only supplementation on the silage characteristics and bacterial community composition of alfalfa silage.

The study was published in Frontiers in microbiology October 13.

They found that silage time decreased crude fiber content and increased ammoniacal nitrogen, acetic acid content and the relative abundance of Enterococcus in silage.

Sucrose supplementation lowered the pH levels and neutral detergent fiber, propionic acid and butyric acid content of alfalfa silage, thereby improving the quality of alfalfa silage. The reduced level of butyric acid suppressed harmful bacteria and increased the relative abundance of Lactobacillus and Enterococcus in the silage.

Additionally, there was an increase in relative dietary value (RFV) levels with increases in sucrose supplementation.

The results suggest that sucrose supplementation may improve the feed quality of alfalfa silage and increase its content of beneficial bacteria.

Sorghum silage is a suitable alternative to corn silage, with good management

More information:
Jinhe Kang et al, alfalfa silage treated with sucrose has improved feed quality and more beneficial bacterial communities, Frontiers in microbiology (2021). DOI: 10.3389 / fmicb.2021.670165

Provided by Chinese Academy of Sciences

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