This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of bacterial inoculants on the fermentation and aerobic stability of whole-plant corn silage using different combinations of Lactobacillus plantarum, Pediococcus acidilactici, Propionibacterium acidipropionici, and Lactobacillus buchneri. Inoculation of silage with a combination of L. plantarum and P. acidilactici increased (P < 0.05) lactate concentration and lactate-to-acetate ratio but decreased (P < 0.05) pH, acetate and NH3-N concentrations, and yeast count. Inoculation of silage with a combination of L. plantarum and P. acidipropionici had no effect on pH or concentrations of lactate, acetate, total organic acid, and NH3-N, but negatively influenced aerobic stability. Inoculation of silage with L. buchneri increased (P < 0.05) pH and acetate concentration but decreased (P < 0.05) lactate and water-soluble carbohydrate concentrations. The pH value increased slowly following exposure to air. Yeast and mold did not multiply during the experimental period, and aerobic stability improved greatly. The results indicate that inoculation of silage with L. buchneri improved the fermentation and aerobic stability of whole-plant corn silage.
Key words: Bacterial inoculant, whole-plant corn silage, fermentation, aerobic stability.
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