Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP, rte de la Tioleyre 4, 1725 Posieux

Cutting height influences the nutritive value in grass silages

The influence of the cutting height, the pre-wilting degree as well as the use of silage additives on the nutritive value and the fermentation quality was investigated in a trial. In autumn 2006, forage of a ley was cut on 7-8 cm and 3-4 cm. A part of the forage of both treatments was ensiled directly. The rest of the forage was tedded and ensiled the next day with a higher dry matter content. Moreover, forage of every variant was ensiled without or treated with a silage additive. A chemical product and two different inoculants were used as silage additives. The cutting height strongly influenced the ash content as well as the energy-content of the forage which was ensiled directly. By pre-wilting the ash content was reduced. As a result of the high nitrate contents no or only traces of butyric acid were produced. In the silages with less than 20 % dry matter high levels of acetic acid were found. These silages had little DLG-points. With the use of the silage additives some effects were reached. In the wet and dirty forage the silage quality was improved by the use of the chemical product. One of the two inoculants showed a good effect in the forage that was a little bit pre-wilted.

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