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Open AccessAbstract

Ensiling Unsalable Vegetables with Crop Sorghum to Produce High Quality Feed

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
School of Life and Environment Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Science, University of Turin, 10124 Torino, Italy
Lacombe Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe, AB T4L 1W1, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the Third International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TROPAG 2019), Brisbane, Australia, 11–13 November 2019.
Proceedings 2019, 36(1), 113;
Published: 3 March 2020
Vegetables regarded as unsalable at processing often undergo disposal into landfill, threatening food security and increasing emissions through decomposition. Ensiling vegetables with forage crops is a suggested method of waste reduction that could also double as a livestock feed. Carrot or pumpkin, ensiled at 0%, 20% or 40% DM with crop sorghum, and with or without a second-generation silage inoculant were assessed for nutritive composition, organic acid profiles, aerobic stability and in vitro rumen fermentation characteristics. Silage was sampled after 70-days ensiling for nutrient composition, 14-day aerobic stability, organic acid profiles and microbial diversity. Sorghum ensiled with carrot or pumpkin at 20% or 40% DM increased crude fat (P ≤ 0.01) and decreased (P ≤ 0.01) silage surface temperature upon aerobic exposure compared to the control. Bacterial communities analyzed through 16S rRNA gene sequencing linearly increased (P ≤ 0.01) in diversity as vegetable proportion increased in the silage; dominated by Lactobacillus species. Upon assessment in vitro, there was an increase (P ≤ 0.04) in in vitro digestibility and some CH4 parameters (% CH4, and mg CH4/g DM), with no effect (P ≥ 0.17) on remaining CH4 parameters (mL CH4/g DM, mg CH4/g DMD), gas production or pH. However, increasing vegetable proportion decreased acetic and increased propionic acid concentrations respectively, decreasing A:P ratio and total VFA as a result (P ≤ 0.01). Results from this study indicate including carrot or pumpkin at 20% or 40% DM in a sorghum silage can produce a highly digestible, microbially diverse and energy-rich livestock feed whilst acting as a method of waste diversion of considerable environmental benefit.
Keywords: unsalable vegetables; silage production; microbial profiling unsalable vegetables; silage production; microbial profiling
MDPI and ACS Style

Forwood, D.L.; Hooker, K.; Caro, E.; Huo, Y.; Holman, D.; Chaves, A.V.; Meale, S.J. Ensiling Unsalable Vegetables with Crop Sorghum to Produce High Quality Feed. Proceedings 2019, 36, 113.

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