Chemical composition and losses of nutrients involved in sugarcane ensiling with microbial and chemical additives
There is increasing interest in sugarcane silage as an alternative supplemental feed for cattle, but high losses during the fermentation can affect the viability of this option. The present study evaluated the effects of additives on the composition and nutrient losses in sugarcane ensiling by applying the following six treatments: without additive (CON), with 2 × 106 cfu/g of Lactobacillus buchneri alone (LB) or associated with 2 × 106 cfu/g of Lactobacillus plantarum (LB/PLA), 1.0% urea (LB/URE), 0.5% virgin lime (LB/CAL), and only 0.5% virgin lime (CAL) on an as fed basis. Silos with 18 L capacity were used and the fermentation lasted 104 days. After opening the silos, the dry matter (DM) content of the silage was found to have decreased by 3.9 percentage units on average compared to the initial value. Crude protein (CP) content was higher and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) lower in the (LB/URE) treatment. In the treatments with virgin lime the pH value was higher and the recovery of MS was lower, but equal to that of the treatment LB, in which the effluent losses were greater. The gaseous losses were lower in treatments with only microbial additives. It was concluded that none of the additives evaluated reduce dry matter losses, but the microbial additives reduce gas losses and the virgin lime reduces effluent losses.