Agroscope, Institute for Livestock Sciences ILS, 1725 Posieux, Switzerland

Silage quality of catch crops

Although catch crops contribute to additional feed production, they are also considered to be difficult to ensile. In a trial, the ensilability and silage quality of the two standard mixtures 101 and 106 as well as mixtures with black oats, sorghum and foxtail millet were investigated. In addition to variants without an additive, we also tested variants with the chemical silage additive Kofasil Plus. Based on the fermentability coefficient, all mixtures were rated as difficult to ensile. Without a silage additive, the mixtures 101 and 106 silages as well as the mixture with black oats had very high butyric acid contents and pH values, and thus a very poor silage quality. With the addition of the silage additive, butyric acid formation was prevented. Despite this, the silages had a high acetic acid content. Only small amounts of butyric acid were detected in the two mixtures with sorghum and foxtail millet with and without silage additive. The addition of a silage additive also had a positive impact on the nutritional values. NEL content was in all cases higher in the treated silages than in the untreated silages.

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