The use of a silage additive on annual rye grass crops and performance of lactating dairy cows

Francisco Lanuza A.1, Hernán Felipe Elizalde V.2, Fernando Klein R.1 y Fernando Meyer O.3

In order to evaluate the effect of a salt of formic acid as an additive for grass silage on dairy cattle, a sward of italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum cv Tama) was direct-ensiled following treatment with either ammonium tetraformate (Foraform®) at 3.0 L, or no additive (untreated). The silages were evaluated in a change-over design experiment with three periods each of 21 day duration, using 12 Friesian dairy cows. Animals were housed in individual stalls and in addition to the treatment silages, received 4 kg/day of a supplement containing 180 g crude protein er kg DM. In addition, a further study was carried on using no concentrate and with 8 cows in a change over design experiment with three periods each of 15 days duration. The two silages were well fermented (means: pH 3.9 and NNH3 7.0%) and no major differences in chemical composition were detected. In both cases (with or without supplement) there were no significant (P > 0.05) differences between additive treated silage and untreated silage in silage dry matter intake, milk yield, milk composition or live weight differences. In conclusion, with the untreated silage being well fermented, ammonium tetraformate at the current rate of application, had no effect on the chemical composition ofthe silage. Consequently, no major differences were detected in terms of animal performance.

Keywords: silaje, additive, annual. ryegrass, concentrate, supplementation, dairy cowS.
1 Centro Regional de Investigación Remehue (INIA). Casilla 24-0, Osomo, Chile.
2 Centro Regional de Investigación Tamel Aike (INIA). Casilla 296. Coyhaique. Chile.
3 Los Plátanos 2474. Viña del Mar, Chile.