Fermentation Quality of Sweet Potato Vine Silage at Different Molasses Levels
High sweet potato vine quantity during season of production and the absence of the technology for conservation form the main constraint to optimum utilization of the forage. Conservation could remove the constraint of feed wastage and availability of crude protein reach roughage for livestock during times of feed scarcity. A laboratory experiment on ensiling sweet potato vines was carried out to determine the quality of fermentation at different levels of molasses. A completely randomized design was used at molasses levels of 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20% on unwilted vines. Chopped sweet potato vines weighing 60 kg was used for each molasses treatment level. The silage samples were taken 30 days after ensiling to determine its chemical composition. The dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) contents decreased with increasing levels of molasses from 22.5 for fresh Fresh sweet potato vine to 13.38 for silage without molasses and l3.57 and 11.10 percent CP for silage with molasses. Neutral detergent fibre (NDF) decreased with increase in molasses rates too. The NDF of silage without molasses decreased slightly to 38.22 compared to 39.72 in the fresh material. There was significant (P<0.05) pH value decrease after addition of molasses which were not different among the treatments with various molasses rates. Silage without molasses had a higher pH of 4.5 but ranged from 3.9 to 4.0 for silage with molasses. DM content of sweet potato vines increased significantly (P<0.05) with the addition of molasses. There was no significant (P>0.05) change in DM for the silage with different molasses rates which ranged from 179.9 - 188.9g/Kg with golden brown colour and good fruity smell.
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