Functional microorganisms as an additive in silage processing.

Dear readers, in livestock agroecosystems during critical periods, either due to prolonged drought, which is generally the case in tropical ecosystems, or due to waterlogging problems, the availability of forage decreases considerably, therefore, there is not enough supply of plant biomass to ensure the production and stability of ruminants. For this reason, forage conservation alternatives have been established, among which is silage. This technique consists of conserving forage plant material through a fermentation process thanks to the proliferation of a group of microorganisms without the presence of oxygen, that is, an anaerobic fermentation, with the objective of conserving forage material for critical moments and that it conserves its nutritional value, through some chemical and biological processes that occur in the silo. If you wish to know a little more about this technique, I invite you to visit the following website where some aspects for its elaboration are described in detail.

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In the same sense it is necessary to mention that the elaboration of silage requires a series of processes such as harvesting, chopping, anaerobic fermentation and stability, all processes are indispensable but the key point to obtain a good anaerobic fermentation is the proliferation of lactic acid bacteria, These bacteria ferment the water-soluble carbohydrates in the forage, producing lactic acid and, to a lesser extent, acetic acid. When these acids are generated, the pH of the ensiled material drops to a level that inhibits the presence of microorganisms that induce putrefaction. Accordingly, Oude and collaborators (2001), points out that the production of lactic acid makes it possible to have a better product, in this way the animals would have a good feeding, with this alternative the producers avoid weight losses in their herds, milk production and fertility problems, in addition there would not be good economic gains due to the low performance that the producer would get from the poor feeding of the animals.

Image allusive to the silage making process

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For more details on how to make silage, please visit the following links

Principles for silage

Types of silos and their preparation

For the above reasons, there is the possibility of making silage by adding endogenous microorganisms that help the anaerobic fermentation of silage, including lactic acid-producing bacteria that are added to the natural bacterial population to help ensure rapid and efficient fermentation in the silo, In this sense, Almeida y Cardenas (2006), indicates that efficient microorganisms are a combination of beneficial microorganisms of four main genera: phototrophic bacteria, yeasts, lactic acid producing bacteria and fermentation fungi: phototrophic bacteria, yeasts, lactic acid producing bacteria and fermentation fungi, these microorganisms when in contact with organic matter, secrete beneficial substances such as vitamins, organic acids and antioxidant substances.

Taking into account the ideas expressed in the previous chapter, some researchers decided to carry out a trial at the La Glorieta farm of the Universidad Nacional Experimental Sur del Lago "Jesus Maria Semprum", using a completely randomized design with four treatments, including the addition of autochthonous microorganisms in corn silage. The autochthonous microorganisms applied were massaged in a traditional way, taking material from the botanical garden forest of the university.

Elaboration of efficient microorganisms using rice husks with soil and forest litter.

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If you wish to know in detail how to elaborate efficient microorganisms, please visit the following link

functional microorganisms audiovisual material

For the test, micro silos were made in polyethylene bags and 10 ml of indigenous microorganisms were added to the treatment that corresponded to the application of microorganisms in liquid form for each kilogram of corn. After their preparation, each of the corn silage samples was monitored for 76 continuous days, samples were taken every 19 days and the organoleptic characteristics (odor, color, texture and moisture) were determined; the chemical characteristics of pH were carried out in the chemical analysis laboratory of UNESUR. The parameters of crude protein, acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent lignin, dry matter and ash were taken to the bromatology laboratory of the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA el Guayabo), in order to evaluate the nutritional quality of the corn silage.

Micro silo and sample of the microorganism solution

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Final considerations
Through the results obtained, it could be evidenced that in spite of not existing significant differences with the rest of the applied treatment, the organoleptic characteristics presented in the silages did not present any problem, observing a silage material with adequate color, odor, texture and humidity. On the other hand, in terms of pH, ash, neutral detergent fiber, crude protein, acid detergent fiber and dry matter, excellent results were obtained, which are in the range of an optimal food supplement for ruminants to cover their food needs in times of drought or climate change variations present in the area.

Dear readers, the quality of a silage will depend on the process of its elaboration, such as crop management, the quality of the raw material, the additives used, the climatic conditions at that moment and the adequate elaboration in the silage process, which will provide the quality of the material required at the moment of supplying it to the ruminants. In this sense, the application of endogenous microorganisms can be an alternative to ensure that the fermentation process is carried out in an efficient way.

Bibliographic references
- Almeida, M. Cárdenas, D. (2006). Effect of the use of Efficient Microorganisms on the quality of Mulato II grass silage. Yeguare Valley, Honduras. Zamorano Agricultural Science and Production Career.

- Hansen, In, Milwaukee WI. (2014). Evaluating silage quality. Argentine site of animal production.

Mier, M. (2009). Characterization of the nutritive value and aerobic stability of silages in microsilage form for forage corn. Córdoba Argentina

- Oude, S.; Driehuis, E.; Carrero, F.; Gottschal, J. and Sierk, F. (2001). Silage fermentation processes and their handling. Study at FAO Plant production and protection. Rome.

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