Case Study: Adding a bacterial inoculant to corn silage removed from a bunker silo and stored in piles.


Fully fermented whole-plant corn silage is often sold in small quantities to cattle producers. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if adding a bacterial-based silage inoculant to corn silage would reduce deterioration. A total of 18,000 kg of fully fermented corn silage was removed from a bunker silo and placed into a pile. The pile was subdivided into 8 sections with an inoculant top-dressed to alternating sections. Samples from the top 15 cm were collected at 0, 24, 48, 72, 120, 240, and 336 h after top-dressing the inoculant to the pile. Results indicated that there were no effects of inoculant on DM, NDF, ADF, CP, and ash content of the corn silage. There were no differences between treatments for lactic acid and pH over time. Acetic acid concentration was similar between treatments except the control treatment was higher at 120 h. Mold counts were higher in the control corn silage at 336 h compared with the silage that had inoculant applied. Yeast counts were higher at 24, 48, and 72 h for the control corn silage than for the inoculated corn silage. Deoxynivalenol and zearalenone were not affected by treatment. Top-dressing an inoculant did not overwhelmingly reduce spoilage when fully fermented corn silage was purchased in small quantities. Corn silage appears to maintain its nutrient concentration during the winter for up to 240 h.


Biological Sciences

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Professional Animal Scientist


American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists

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