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Associative effects of ensiling mixtures of sweet sorghum and alfalfa on nutritive value, fermentation and methane characteristics

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Abdul Chaudhry



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Combining sweet sorghum (SS) with alfalfa (AF) for ensiling has the potential to improve the nutritive value and fermentation characteristics of resultant silages. However, the optimal combination and the associative effects of SS and AF for ensilage have not been studied. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the fermentation characteristic and nutritive value of silage mixtures with six different SS to AF ratios. The two forages were ensiled in air free silos for 150 days at room temperature as mixtures containing 0:100, 20:80, 40:60, 60:40, 80:20, and 100:0 of SS:AF on a fresh weight basis. As the proportion of SS increased in silage, the content of ash, crude protein, saponins, ammonia, acetic acid, propionic acid and pH decreased, while neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber in organic matter, acid detergent lignin, water-soluble carbohydrate, starch, total phenolics and condensed tannins content increased. The silages were evaluated in 24-h incubations with rumen liquor. The in vitro rumen degradability of dry matter and organic matter as well as gas production, pH, ammonia, total volatile fatty acids and methane decreased as the proportion of SS increased in the silage mixtures. This study suggests that high quality silages can be made with SS:AF ratios of 20:80 and 40:60. These silage mixtures offer an opportunity to optimize the nutrient supply for ruminant production. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zhang SJ, Chaudhry AS, Osman A, Shi CQ, Edwards GR, Dewhurst RJ, Cheng L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Animal Feed Science and Technology

Year: 2015

Volume: 206

Pages: 29-38

Print publication date: 01/08/2015

Online publication date: 21/05/2015

Acceptance date: 12/05/2015

Date deposited: 02/02/2016

ISSN (print): 0377-8401

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2216

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2015.05.006


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Funder referenceFunder name
31160472National Natural Science Foundation of China
31260565National Natural Science Foundation of China