The influence of drought on the composition of maize silage:
The influence of drought on the composition of maize silage was investigated. Three morphological types of maize plants were used as material i.e. normal plants with a good cob development, plants about one meter high with small cobs and plants with normal vegetative growth but with thin underdeveloped cobs; 40 kg of each sample was ensiled in each of four plastic containers. Three additions, i.e. urea (1%), maize meal (2,5%) and molasses (2,5%) were compared with a control without any additions. Analyses were done for total nitrogen, crude fibre, ether extract, NFE, total soluble- and non-reducing sugars, water soluble nitrogen and ammonia nitrogen. The thin cob maize plants contained the highest total nitrogen whereas the normal plants contained the lowest. The total soluble sugar content was approximately the same for the thin cob bed and normal plants, although the small maize was slightly lower. In general the total nitrogen content of the thin cobbed and the small plants silage was higher than in the normal silage. The addition of urea resulted in a higher nitrogen content in all cases. The production of steam volatile fatty acids was not noticeably different between all silage samples. Addition of maize meal and molasses had no noticeable influence on the chemical composition of the silage except that in the case of molasses the sugar content of the silage was increased. From the results it was concluded that maize which had suffered from moisture stress could be used advantageously for the making of silage.