Effect of cactus pear mucilage as a moistening additive for corn grain silage
Keywords:Anaerobiosis, Cactaceae, Energy, Fermentation, Forage
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of different proportions of cactus pear mucilage as a moistening additive on chemical composition, ammonia nitrogen, volatile fatty acids, microbial dynamics, fermentation losses, pH, and aerobic stability of corn grains in the form of silage throughout storage periods. The study was carried out in a completely randomized design with a factorial arrangement (5×2), with four replications. The factors corresponded to five forms of moistening for corn grain silage, 0, 5, 10, 20, and 40% of cactus pear mucilage (MA) associated or not with urea (U) in the level of 1.5% of DM. The lowest DM content was found in the silage moistened with 40% of cactus pear mucilage, and the greatest CP content was found in the same treatment but when urea was added. Lower contents of propionic and butyric acids were observed in the silages moistened with 5 and 10% of cactus pear without and with the addition of urea. Dry matter recovery was higher in the treatments with water and 10% of cactus pear. The use of urea affected the LAB population only at 15 d of silo opening, providing a bigger population (6.58 logs CFU g-1) when compared to silages without urea (6.27 logs CFU g-1). The lower concentrations of propionic and butyric acids observed in the silage moistened with 5 and 10% of cactus pear mucilage, regardless of the addition of urea. However, it is recommended to use 10% of cactus pear mucilage without the addition of urea, as it provides better indicators of good-quality silage.