The Effect of Ensiling Sugar Beets on Preservation Characteristics, Nutrient Profile, and in Situ Disappearance

Ian R. McGregor, Jan G.P. Bowman, Chad M. Page, Ashton Hubbard, Marley Manoukian, Whitney C. Stewart, Megan L. Van Emon


The objective of this project was to determine if sugar beets could be ensiled with hay or soybean meal with or without a liquid mold inhibitor and the impact on nutrient composition, pH, and aerobic stability. A 3 x 2 factorial experiment where hay (control; H) or sugar beets mixed with either hay (SBH) or soybean meal (SB) were ensiled at a rate of 50:50 (as fed) without the mold inhibitor. The mold inhibitor (T) was included to create three additional treatments: HT, SBT, and SBHT. All treatments decreased in pH over time (P < 0.01), with the lowest pH value being generated by the SB treatment. Concentrations of NDF increased between d 0 and d 90 for treatments SB and SBT (P ≤ 0.01) and increased between d 90 and d 180 for treatments H, HT, SBH, and SBHT (P ≤ 0.01). Concentrations of ADF also increased among all treatments (P ≤ 0.05). Concentrations of CP increased from d 0 to d 90 for HT and SB treatments (P ≤ 0.01), increased from d 90 to d 180 for the SBT treatment (P ≤ 0.02), increased from d 0 to d 180 for the SBH treatment (P ≤ 0.03), and decreased from d 90 to d 180 for the SB treatment (P ≤ 0.01). The data suggests that sugar beets may be ensiled with hay or soybean meal, with or without a liquid mold inhibitor, without negatively impacting nutrient quality or preservation characteristics of the ensiled mixture.

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Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379


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