The Effect of Nitrogen Fertilization to the Sward on Guineagrass (Panicum maximum Jacq cv. Gatton) Silage Fermentation

  • Namihira, Tomoyuki (Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus) ;
  • Shinzato, Naoya (Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus) ;
  • Akamine, Hikaru (Subtropical Field Science Center, Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus) ;
  • Nakamura, Ichiro (Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus) ;
  • Maekawa, Hideaki (Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus) ;
  • Kawamoto, Yasuhiro (Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus) ;
  • Matsui, Toru (Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus)
  • Received : 2010.05.17
  • Accepted : 2010.09.03
  • Published : 2011.03.01


To investigate the effect of nitrogen fertilization on the quality of tropical grass silage, guinea grass grown with 3 types of nitrogen fertilizers, namely, urea, ammonium sulfate, and compound fertilizer 804, at 2 fertilization levels, 0.5 and 2.5 kg $Na^{-1}$ (0.5 N and 2.5 N, respectively), was subjected to silage fermentation. Silage fertilized with 0.5 N showed butyrate-dominant fermentation, irrespective of the type of fertilizer used. On the other hand, fermentation of silage fertilized with 2.5 N was significantly affected by the type of fertilizer used; fertilization with ammonium sulfate and compound fertilizer 804 resulted in silage that contained a large amount of butyrate and no lactate; this silage was considered to be of a significantly low quality as compared with silage fertilized with 0.5 N. Among silage fertilized with 2.5 N, the desirable butyrate-free fermentation was found only in urea-fertilized silage, which had the best quality. Grass material fertilized with a high level of urea accumulated a relatively high concentration of nitrate nitrogen (0.22% dry matter). Our results presented here suggest that nitrogen fertilizer management could affect the quality of tropical grass silage and that a relatively high concentration of nitrate in silage may promote butyrate-free fermentation even in tropical grass silage.


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