ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 109, No. 2 (2022), p. 179–184
Peculiarities of chemical composition of main types of silage prepared from grasses, legumes, and small grain crop mixtures
Lauksmė MERKEVIČIŪTĖ-VENSLOVĖ, Alvyra ŠLEPETIENĖ, Jurgita CESEVIČIENĖ, Audronė MANKEVIČIENĖ, Eimantas VENSLOVAS
Forage crops serve as the main source of material for production of silage, which is the basis of most winter-feeding systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the variation of diverse perennial grasses and the quality of small grain crop silage and to compare the nutritive value of selected pure and mixed silage groups. Silage samples were collected from 433 farms. They included perennial grass mix, cereal, alfalfa-perennial grass mix, clover, perennial ryegrass, perennial grass-clover mix, oat-common vetch mix, clover-alfalfa mix, legume mix, perennial grass-rye mix, and perennial grass-oat-common vetch mix silage, 1,626 samples in total. Analyses were carried out to determine the data on the content of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF), also crude fat (CF), crude ash (CA), and acidity (pH). According to the experimental results, perennial ryegrass silage had the highest CP (166 g kg-1 DM), NDF (550 g kg-1 DM) and CF (39.1 g kg-1 DM) contents and the lowest DM content (321 g kg-1) compared to pure and mixed silage compositions. Among the silage, perennial grass-rye mix silage was shown to have the lowest pH (4.2). Both silage mixtures with oats and common vetch were characterised with higher pH: the pH of the oat-common vetch mix was 5, and the pH of perennial grass-oat-common vetch mix was 4.9. The oat-common vetch mix was high in NDF with 543 g kg-1 DM. Mixtures with clover silage were high in CP and NDF content. Overall, among the samples tested, the best results in nutritive value showed perennial ryegrass silage.
Keywords: silage quality, perennial grasses, legume, common vetch, crop.