Sucrose Supplementation Improves Alfalfa Silage Quality
Alfalfa silage is one of the main roughages in the production of dairy cow. It can provide nutrition with high-quality to improve milk quality and production. Sucrose additions have been widely used to improve the silage quality. When ensiling forage, the types of microorganism that are present during fermentation also play a critical role. Thus, monitoring the ensiling process with respect to the changes in the chemical and microbial compositions could also help to improve our understanding of it.
Researchers from the Institute of Subtropical Agriculture (ISA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences investigated the effects of sucrose supplementation alone on ensiling characteristics and bacterial community compositions of alfalfa silage. It was found that the ensiling time significantly decreased the crude fiber content, and increased the ammonia nitrogen, acetic acid content, and the relative abundance of Enterococcus in the silages. Supplementing alfalfa silage samples with different doses of sucrose decreased their pH levels and NDF, propionic acid, and butyric acid content. There was an increment in the RFV levels with the increments of the sucrose supplementations. Furthermore, the reduced levels of butyric acid suppressed harmful bacteria and the relative abundance of Lactobacillus and Enterococcus in the silage increased. All results suggested that sucrose supplementation could improve increasing its beneficial bacterial content and the feeding quality of alfalfa silage.
This work was supported by Chinese Academy of Sciences, Strategic Priority Research Program (Nos. XDA26040304, XDA26040306, and XDA26040203) and Hunan Provincial Science and Technology Department (No. 2019RS3021).
The study entitled "Alfalfa Silage Treated With Sucrose Has an Improved Feed Quality and More Beneficial Bacterial Communities" has been published in Frontiers in Microbiology on Oct. 13th, more details could be found at https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.670165.
Contact: Jinhe Kang
Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences