Effects of lactic acid bacteria silage inoculation on methane emission and productivity of Holstein Friesian dairy cattle

J.L. Ellis, I.K. Hindrichsen, G. Klop, R.D. Kinley, N. Milora, A. Bannink, J. Dijkstra

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25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Inoculants of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are used to improve silage quality and prevent spoilage via increased production of lactic acid and other organic acids and a rapid decline in silage pH. The addition of LAB inoculants to silage has been associated with increases in silage digestibility, dry matter intake (DMI), and milk yield. Given the potential change in silage and rumen fermentation conditions accompanying these silage additives, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of LAB silage inoculants on DMI, digestibility, milk yield, milk composition, and methane (CH4) production from dairy cows in vivo. Eight mid-lactation Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were grouped into 2 blocks of 4 cows (multiparous and primiparous) and used in a 4 × 4 double Latin square design with 21-d periods. Methane emissions were measured by indirect calorimetry. Treatments were grass silage (mainly ryegrass) with no inoculant (GS), with a long-term inoculant (applied at harvest; GS+L), with a short-term inoculant (applied 16 h before feeding; GS+S), or with both long and short-term inoculants (GS+L+S). All diets consisted of grass silage and concentrate (75:25 on a dry matter basis). The long-term inoculant consisted of a 10:20:70 mixture of Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactococcus lactis, and Lactobacillus buchneri, and the short-term inoculant was a preparation of Lc. lactis. Dry matter intake was not affected by long-term or short-term silage inoculation, nor was dietary neutral detergent fiber or fat digestibility, or N or energy balance. Milk composition (except milk urea) and fat and protein-corrected milk yield were not affected by long- or short-term silage inoculation, nor was milk microbial count. However, milk yield tended to be greater with long-term silage inoculation. Methane expressed in units of grams per day, grams per kilogram of DMI, grams per kilogram of milk, or grams per kilogram of fat and protein-corrected milk yield was not affected by long- or short-term silage inoculation. However, CH4 expressed in units of kilojoules per kilogram of metabolic body weight per day tended to be greater with long-term silage inoculation. Results of this study indicate minimal responses in animal performance to both long- and short-term inoculation of grass silage with LAB. Strain and dose differences as well as different basal silages and ensiling conditions are likely responsible for the lack of significant effects observed here, although positive effects have been observed in other studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7159-7174
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume99
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Lactating cows
  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • Methane
  • Silage inoculant

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