Performance of lactating cows fed sugarcane silage treated with microbial additives


  • Lucas L. Cardoso Federal University of Viçosa
  • Karina G. Ribeiro Federal University of Viçosa
  • Odilon G. Pereira Federal University of Viçosa
  • Kirsten Weiss Humboldt University of Berlin
  • Geraldo F. V. Bayão Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Maranhão
  • Camila S. Cunha Federal University of Viçosa
  • Marcos I. Marcondes Federal University of Viçosa, Washington State University



cows, digestibility, dry matter intake, Holstein, Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus plantarum, microbial additives, microbial inoculants, milk yield, Pediococcus pentosaceus, roughage


Background: No studies have been conducted evaluating sugarcane silage associated with both Lactobacillus plantarum and Pediococcus pentosaceus for lactating dairy cows. Objective: To evaluate diets containing different roughages with and without microbial inoculants on intake, digestibility and milk yield of medium-producing cows. Methods: A total of 15 Holstein cows distributed into a randomized block design were used. Dietary treatments were: 1) a corn silage-based diet (CS), 2) a fresh sugarcane-based diet (SC), 3) a sugarcane silage ensiled without inoculant (SS), 4) sugarcane silage ensiled with Lactobacillus buchneri (SSLB), and 5) sugarcane silage ensiled with Lactobacillus plantarum and Pediococcus pentosaceus (SSLP). Results: Digestible organic matter intake (DOMI) was lower (p<0.05) in cows fed SSLB (9.77 kg day-1) when compared with cows fed CS (13.29 kg day-1) and SSLP (12.42 kg day-1). Ensiling of sugarcane increased intake of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) compared to SC (mean of 6.00 kg day-1 versus 4.97 kg day-1; p<0.05). Dry matter digestibility was greater (p<0.05) in CS (77.80%) compared with diets based on sugarcane silage, whereas NDF digestibility was lower for treatments with sugarcane (p<0.05). Milk yield was similar among CS (27.99 kg), SC (25.59 kg), and silages with additives (25.47 and 27.07 for SSLB and SSLP, respectively). Cows fed CS produced more fat-corrected milk (25.89 kg) than those fed sugarcane-based diets (p<0.05). Conclusions: Fresh sugarcane or sugarcane silage with additives can be used as a roughage source for dairy cows producing up to 23.43 kg d-1 fat-corrected milk, considering the total diet is properly balanced.

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Author Biographies

Lucas L. Cardoso, Federal University of Viçosa
Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Karina G. Ribeiro, Federal University of Viçosa
Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Odilon G. Pereira, Federal University of Viçosa
Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Kirsten Weiss, Humboldt University of Berlin
Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Geraldo F. V. Bayão, Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Maranhão
Department of Animal Science, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Maranhão, Brazil.

Camila S. Cunha, Federal University of Viçosa
Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Marcos I. Marcondes, Federal University of Viçosa, Washington State University
Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University, Washington, Pullman, USA.


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How to Cite

Cardoso, L. L., Ribeiro, K. G., Pereira, O. G., Weiss, K., Bayão, G. F. V., Cunha, C. S., & Marcondes, M. I. (2021). Performance of lactating cows fed sugarcane silage treated with microbial additives. Revista Colombiana De Ciencias Pecuarias, 35(1), 14–25.



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