Replacement of aruana grass by gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium) on silage quality
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Our objective was to investigate the effect of the replacement of aruana grass by gliricidia on the fermentative losses, chemical composition, and aerobic stability of silages. For ensiling, whole-crop aruana grass (75 d of growth) was chopped (275 g kg(-1) dry matter - DM) and ensiled alone or associated with gliricidia (270 g kg(-1) DM; 150 d of growth). For gliricidia, we used only the leaves and stalks to ensile. The evaluated treatments were different ratios of aruana grass to gliricidia (100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75, and 0:100), with four replicates (mini-silos). The silage composed only of gliricidia exhibited a lower pH than the other silages. Dry matter recovery was not affected by the treatments, although effluent losses were affected. The replacement of aruana grass by gliricidia 50% at ensiling resulted in a higher lactic acid bacteria count. The aruana grass silages displayed lower protein contents and a higher neutral detergent fiber content than the gliricidia silages after 40 d of fermentation. Consequently, the silage consisting of 100% gliricidia showed higher in vitro DM digestibility, presenting an increase of 8.13% after 40 d of fermentation compared with 100% of aruana grass silage. After silo opening, the gliricidia silage was very stable (>72 h). The low quality of aruana grass silage is improved by replacing this grass with significant amounts of gliricidia (approximately 75%).