The microbial populations of the green plant and of the cut forage prior to ensiling

Kroulik, J.T.; Burkey, L.A.; Wiseman, H.G.

Journal of Dairy Science 38(3): 256-262


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0302
DOI: 10.3168/jds.s0022-0302(55)94969-9
Accession: 013885883

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Fresh green forage plants were found to contain millions of microorganisms per gram of material. The numbers varied with the kind, part, and maturity of the plant, and increased with the advance in season. A 7-17-fold increase in numbers of microorganisms occurred on the fresh cut forage during the few hours required in the wilting and harvesting process previous to ensiling. The predominating bacteria on all green plants studied consisted of yellow pigmented, aerobic, non-sporeform-ing, rod shaped bacteria which were not present in significant numbers in the soil from the same area. Coliform bacteria mostly of the genus Aerobacter. yeasts, and molds were present also in large numbers on fresh green plants; and increased greatly during the harvesting process. However, the predominant pigmented and coliform bacteria did not persist significantly in the ensiled forage. On the other hand, relatively few of the bacteria isolated from fresh green plants were similar to the bacteria found in the silage, and none were typical of the lacto-bacilli found in the ensiled forage.