Plantain silage quality under variable management practices
Two studies investigated the effect of regrowth and additives on preservation and quality of plantain ensiled in spring using a micro-silage technique. Study 1 compared the effect of regrowth at four (4L), five (5L) or six leaf (6L) appearance. Study 2 compared fertilisers: 20 kg N/ha (20N), 20N plus potassium and phosphorus (20NPK) or 40 kg N/ha with P and K (40NPK) and additives: cellulose enzyme (ENZ), molasses (MOL), Biosil (BIO) or no additives (CON). After 180 days, wet chemistry was performed on all silages. Silages were dark brown and had a sweet smell, though fermentation was limited with an average pH of 5.2 and 5.8 in Study 1 and 2, respectively. However, pH declined (P<0.05) with early harvest, and use of N fertiliser or additives. Harvesting plantain for silage following a long regrowth is not recommended as the high stem content at this time contributed to low crude protein and low digestibility.
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