Murumuru (Astrocaryum murumuru) meal as an additive to elephant grass silage
Background: Tropical grasses, such as elephant grass, have high moisture content during its ideal phenological state for silage. High moisture content hinders proper preservation and reduces the nutritive value of silage due to secondary fermentation and production of effluents. Adding feed materials with high dry matter content, such as murumuru (Astrocaryum murumuru) meal, is a potential alternative to improve silage yield. Objective: To determine the effects of including murumuru meal (0, 7, 14, 21, and 28%) on the fermentative characteristics, microbiological activity, aerobic stability, and chemical composition of elephant grass silages. Methods: A completely randomized design with five treatments and five replicates was used. Elephant grass was collected at 60 d of age, minced, and homogenized with murumuru meal. The mass was placed in experimental 15-L silos. The silos were collected and analyzed 45 d later. Results: Effluent production decreased (p<0.05) as the proportions of murumuru meal in silage increased. A quadratic effect (p<0.05) was observed on dry matter recovery. An increase (p<0.05) was observed in dry matter content, a decrease (p<0.05) in the neutral detergent fiber content, and an increase (p<0.05) in the non-fibrous carbohydrate content with the inclusion of murumuru meal. Conclusions: Addition of murumuru meal improves chemical composition and does not affect the fermentative characteristics of elephant grass silage, while it reduces effluent losses. Nevertheless, the inclusion of murumuru meal in the elephant grass silage decreased the time of aerobic stability.
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