Fermentation losses of cactus silages with elephant grass
Keywords:Fermentation profile, Opuntia ficus-indica, Pennisetum purpureum, pH
This study proposes to evaluate fermentation losses and dry matter recovery rate in cactus silages with elephant grass. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design with eight replicates. Treatments consisted of cactus silages with increasing levels of elephant grass (10, 20, 30 and 40 % on a fresh-weight basis). The material was ensiled in experimental PVC tubes and was evaluated after 200 days of fermentation. The inclusion of elephant grass in the silage did not influence its pH (4.55), effluent losses (77.78 kg/t of fresh matter) or dry matter recovery rate (69.03 %), but induced a linear increase in dry matter content (from 8.33 to 14.80 %) and a decrease in gas losses (from 30.33 to 17.20 %). The addition of up to 40 % elephant grass improves the fermentation profile of cactus silage.