Effects of silicon foliar fertilization of meadow plants on the nutritional value of silage fed to dairy cows

„Radkowski A., Sosin-Bzducha E., Radkowska I. 2017. Effects of silicon foliar fertilization of meadow plants on the nutritional value of silage fed to dairy cows. J. Elem., 22(4):  1311 - 1322. DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2017.22.1.1331”

DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2017.22.1.1331

The study presents results of chemical analyses and the nutritional value of silages made from meadow plants exposed to foliar fertilization with silicon (Si doses 46.8 g Si ha–1 – variant I  and 74.9 g Si ha–1 - variant II, preparation Optisil®), and data on the milk yield as well as the basic composition and quality of milk produced by cows fed with these silages. Standard methods (AOAC 2005) were used to determine the basic components of silages. pH and organic acids of silages were measured. The feeding trial was conducted on 30 Polish Holstein-Friesian dairy cows. The control group (C) was fed silage from non Si-fertilized meadow plants. The other two groups were fed with the fodder containing silages from Si-fertilized meadow, i.e. group I silage obtained from variant I (46.8 g Si) and group II silage obtained from variant II (74.9 g Si). The cows were fed with total mixed rations (TMR). The silages made from meadow plants accounted for about 26.3 kg of a daily total ration. The cows were also given hay, barley straw and concentrate feed (triticale, barley, and wheat). The share of papilionaceous plants increased and dicotyledonous plants decreased proportionally to silicon fertilization. The study showed no effects of the biostimulator on the crop yield. The silages made from silicon fertilized plants had a higher nutritional value. Feeding dairy cows with silages made from Si-fertilized plants improved their milk productivity. The total solids, protein and fat of milk were higher in the Si groups. The highest milk yield as well as the milk protein and fat content were achieved in the group of cows fed with the silage made from plants fertilized with the highest silicon preparation dose (group II). Milk contained lower total counts of microorganisms (BPC) and somatic cells (SCC). The best results in this area were noticed for milk produced by group I cows fed with variant I silage.

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Słowa kluczowe: meadow plants, silicon fertilization, silage, chemical composition, fodder value, milk productivity and quality


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Prof. Julian Aleksandrowicz