Inoculants containing lactic acid bacteria, added to herbage at time of cutting, aid the natural process of fermentation to produce lactic acid during ensilage. This lowers the pH and preserves the silage. It is also claimed that enzyme additives break down polysaccharides in plant cell walls, releasing fermentable sugar to stimulate fermentation and increase the digestibility of the silage. This study was carried out to investigate the effects of inoculants and enzymes on silage fermentation characteristics and gas production during in vitro fermentation.
A second cut of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) was mown, chopped to 2 – 4 cm lengths, divided into aliquots and treated at a rate of 10 ml kg-1. The treatments were: 1) control (water), 2) inoculant (Pediococcus pentosaceus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Propionibacter jensenii at 1.6 x 105 cells g-1 herbage) 3) enzyme (xylanase, β-glucanase and amylase, applied at a rate of 0.001 g kg-1 herbage) and 4) inoculant + enzyme.