Effects of adding agro-industrial by-products and bacterial inoculant at ensiling on nutritional quality and bacterial colonization of Tifton 85 [<i>Cynodon dactylon</i> (L.) Pers.] silages
The objective of this study was to evaluate effects of adding agro-industrial by-products (soybean hulls and cornprocessing residue) and bacterial inoculant to Tifton 85 forage at ensiling on nutritional quality and bacterial colonization of resulting silages. The design was completely randomized in a 3 × 2 factorial scheme, with 6 treatments and 4 replicates. Treatments were: Tifton 85 forage; Tifton 85 + soybean hulls; Tifton 85 + corn-processing residue; Tifton 85 + bacterial inoculant; Tifton 85 + soybean hulls + inoculant; and Tifton 85 + corn-processing residue + inoculant. Inclusion of by-products increased dry matter and organic matter percentages of silages, while addition of soybean hulls improved crude protein concentration in silage. Total digestible nutrients in silages containing by-products were higher than in straight Tifton 85 silage. In addition, addition of by-products increased in vitro dry matter and organic matter digestibilities of resulting silages. Most treatments showed aerobic stability up to 144 hours after exposure to air, except for Tifton 85 + corn-processing residue without inoculant, which became unstable by 120 hours of exposure. Addition of by-products at ensiling of Tifton 85 forage appears beneficial but there seems little benefit in adding bacterial inoculant. More studies on a larger scale are needed to confirm these preliminary results, while feeding studies would determine any improvement in animal performance when fed silage containing by-products.