AbstractMerker grass, Para grass and cane top silages were made satisfactorily using experimental silos 7.5' X 15'. The commonly recommended techniques, except wilting, can be followed in Puerto Rico. Observations tend to indicate that the forage should be put into the silo within a few hours after cutting. Due to the natural characteristics of the native-grown grasses and of the excessively hot sun, wilting it not advisable: the material becomes too light to attain good packing and there is a probable reduction in the nutritive value. Unless very heavy weights are put on top of the ensiled material (this is troublesome and costly in tower silos), water must be added to insure good packing especially toward the top of the silo. Experience will help to determine the amount of water to be added. More detailed studies on total losses, nutrient losses and pH values were made with Merker silage. The results obtained were within the range reported by investigators in the United States. Further observations tend to indicate too, that intervals between fillings should not exceed more than 24 hours to avoid excessive losses due to moldy silage. The tropical temperature seems to favor the rapid growth of molds. With respect to odor, color, palatability and pH values, very good silage was obtained from Merker grass. Good cane tops and Para grass silages were obtained too, but not of the same quality as Merker silage. Molasses can be used as a preservative up to ten per cent. It increases palatability and nutritive value of the silage. Results obtained with Merker grass silage probably apply to the other forage grasses in the Island, taking into consideration the results obtained in the present work as compared to the results obtained by others with grass and legume silages.
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