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Study of Chemical Composition and Quality Characteristics of Corn, Sunflower and Corn-Sunflower Mixture Silages

E. Mafakher, M. Meskarbashee, P. Hassibi and M.R. Mashayekhi
 
ABSTRACT
This study was carried out to determine chemical composition and quality characteristics of corn and sunflower ensiled alone and the mixtures (fresh matter basis) of corn and sunflower at differing rates included 75% corn plus 25% sunflower (C75S25), 50% corn plus 50% sunflower (C50S50), 25% corn plus 75% sunflower (C25S75). Whole corn and sunflower plants were chopped at milk-dough seed stage and ensiled in plastic jars for 45 days. At this experiment, forage characteristics of corn and sunflower plants pre ensiling and dry matter, crude protein, crude fiber, ash, pH, flieg point and physical characteristics (smell, structure and color) of silages were measured. Corn and sunflower plants had significantly differences in terms of dry and fresh forage yield, dry matter, crude protein, total water soluble sugars and starch amount. Among the silages, highest crude protein (12.87%), ash (16.5%) and pH value (4.3) were determined from sunflower silage alone (p<0.01) and declined in the mixtures with increasing levels of corn in silage. While, flieg point (103.01) was greater in corn silage alone. In addition mixing corn and sunflower forage in silo improved silage feeding value and best mixing was 50% corn plus 50% sunflower.
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  How to cite this article:

E. Mafakher, M. Meskarbashee, P. Hassibi and M.R. Mashayekhi, 2010. Study of Chemical Composition and Quality Characteristics of Corn, Sunflower and Corn-Sunflower Mixture Silages. Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 5: 175-179.

DOI: 10.3923/ajava.2010.175.179

URL: http://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ajava.2010.175.179

INTRODUCTION

In Iran maximal part of ruminants feed resources make from low quality nutrients with inadequate feed value, therefore most of them have deficient nutrient, good silage is one of the best feed for provide energy, protein, minerals and vitamin for ruminants. Silages crops must provide forage of high nutritive value and high yields per unit of land (Valdez et al., 1988). Corn is an important forage component of ruminants feeding Programs in Iran (Forouzmand et al., 2005). But nutrients such as protein content and minerals of corn silage is inadequate to meet the nutritional requirements of most class of ruminants (Mir et al., 1992). Researches indicated that crude protein content can be increased by mixing with other forages such as sunflower (Bueno et al., 2004). Demirel et al. (2008) concluded that high quality silages could be obtained from green herbag of corn or sunflower alone, however their nutritive values be improved in mix silage with 50% ratio. Valdez et al. (1988) reported that corn-sunflower intercropped silage had intermediate concentrations of fat, fiber and protein compared to those of corn or sunflower silages. Mir et al. (1992) found that corn silage contained less protein, fat, acid detergent fiber and lignin than corn-sunflower silages (p<0.05). Experiment of Demirel et al. (2006a) reported that better quality silages could be obtained by mixing sorghum and sunflower at 50% ration.

The objectives of this study were to compare physical and chemical characteristics of different mixed silages of corn and sunflower using experimental silos.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Whole corn (cv. DC370) and oilseed type of sunflower (cv. Euroflor) plants were harvested with hand at milk-dough seed stage, chopped at a length of 1-3 cm, wilting (until about 25% dry matter) and ensiled in 2 L plastic jars as one of follow five treatments: 100% corn (C100), 75% corn plus 25% sunflower (C75S25), 50% corn plus 50% sunflower (C50S50), 25% corn plus 75% sunflower (C25S75) and 100% sunflower (S100) on fresh material basis. Sealed experimental silos were incubated to the laboratory for 45 days. At the end of this period, The silos were opened and silages were analyzed for physical and chemical properties. Their pH value was measured with a digital pH meter, Flieg point was calculated using the following formula (Kara et al., 2009). Physical characteristics of silage measured by the method of Demirel et al. (2006b). Dry matter, crude protein, crude fiber and ash following the method of Association of Official Analytical Chemists (1990). Water soluble sugars and starch amount was determined according to Schlegl (1986). The experiment was arranged as completely randomized design and data were analyzed by Statistical Analysis System (SAS Institute, 2003).

RESULTS

Variance analysis of data regarding forage characteristics of corn and sunflower plants pre ensiling and dry matter, crude protein, crude fiber, ash, pH, flieg point and physical characteristics (smell, structure and color) of silages were conducted. Means were compared using the Least Significant Range (LSR) test.

Results showed that forage yields, leaf to stem proportion, number of leaves in plant and crude protein percent of sunflower were higher than corn (p<0.01), the amounts of dry matter, water soluble sugar and starch were significantly higher in corn than sunflower (p<0.01) (Table 1).

Results indicated that there were significant differences in terms of crude protein, ash (p<0.01) and crude fiber (p<0.05). Among silages, the highest crude protein (12.87%) and ash (16.50%) were obtained from S100 and highest crude fiber (38%) was determined from C100. The lowest crude protein (9.21%) and ash (8.50%) were determined from C100 and crude fiber (32.75%) was obtained from C100 (Table 2).

Table 1: Forage characteristics of corn and sunflower plants at dough stage (pre ensiled)
Mean values in the same column followed by the same letter(s) are not significantly different; p<0.01

Table 2: Chemical composition of different silages
Mean values in the same column followed by the same letter(s) are not significantly different; *p<0.05; **p<0.01; ns: Not signification

Table 3: Quality characteristics of different silages
Mean values in the same column followed by the same letter(s) are not significantly different; **p<0.01

Results given in Table 3 indicated that the highest flieg point (103.01) and the best pH value (3.66) were determined from C100 compared to other silages (p<0.01). The lowest flieg point (81.14) and the highest ph value (4.30) were determined from S100. Highest of physical characteristics such as smell, structure and color was obtained from C100.

DISCUSSION

In the study, variations occurred among silages regarding crude protein, crude fiber, ash, fleig point and pH value. The concentrations of crude protein and ash were significantly lower in C100 silage compared to other silages (p<0.01). Crude protein and ash percents increased as the proportion of sunflower in mixtures increased (p<0.01). Highest of ash and protein percents are in leaf and there lowest are in stem ( Mello et al., 2004). Therefore, corn protein and ash values decreased than sunflower due to decreasing of leaf to stem Proportion (Table 1). Similar results were also obtained by McGuffey and Schingoethe (1980), Gaines and Nevens (1925) and Mello et al., 2004. Lowest and highest crude fiber were determined from C25S75 and C100, respectively.

Lowest pH value was obtained from C100 compared to other silages and increased parallel to the increase of sunflower levels in the mixtures (Table 3). The lowest flieg point and the highest pH value were determined from S100 (Table 3). The pH silages declined in the mixtures with increasing levels of corn. This results can be due to decreasing of protein (Wilson and Wilkins, 1973) and ash (Mello et al., 2004; Kadoshnikov et al., 2001) contents and increasing of fermentable carbohydrate content (Mehmet, 2006) of plant material ensiled (Table 1, 2). There were not significantly differences among physical characteristics of silages (Table 3) and all of the silages were very good in terms of physical characteristics score (Table 3).

CONCLUSION

At this experiment, all silages were well preserved based on silage pH and flieg point. As percentage of sunflower increased in silo, crude protein, ash and pH value were increased. It has been concluded that better protein, organic matter and quality of silages could be obtained by mixing corn and sunflower at the rate 50/50%.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We are grateful for the financial support provided by the Scientific Research Presidency of Shahid Chamran University. M.Sc. Thesis: 8833177 No. We are also thankful to the Jahad Agriculture organization of Khuzestan Province for supplying the seed and Agriculture and Natural Resources Research Center of Khuzestan Province for assistance with the experiment.

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