23 Mar 2015 15 Dec 2017
There were different management systems been practiced in the livestock industry in Malaysia. The intensive system was widely practiced, particularly in the pig and poultry sector and as for the ruminant industry; it varies from extensive to intensive system. The majority of feedstuffs used in rations for pig and poultry were imported (Anon, 2002), although to some extent locally produced ingredients were also included in the ration. The imported ingredients range from cereal grains, vegetable and animal proteins such as soybean meal, corn gluten meal, fish meal and meat and bone meal, mineral sources and various micro-ingredients like vitamins, minerals and other additives used to improve feed efficiency and growth. Maize and soybean meal were the major imported ingredients.
Locally available raw materials make up about 30 percent of the total feed ingredients in Malaysia (Anon, 2002). However, the use of locally produced ingredient depends on supply, cost and also quality. The locally produced ingredients were tapioca and fishmeal. However, the amount produced was not sufficient to meet the requirements of the local feed industry (Anon, 2002).
The milling factories and the by-products of oil extraction that produce soybean meal, wheat bran, pollard, and rice bran were always available and usually included in poultry and pigs feed. The ruminant industry depends primarily on locally available feedstuffs, for example palm kernel cake, oil palm frond, palm oil sludge, and soy waste, with only some supplementation provided by imported ingredients. The major local materials used were crop residues and other agro-industrial by-products such as rice bran, copra cake, palm kernel cake, oil palm frond, sago, tapioca and broken rice (Anon, 2002).
Oil palm was one of the commercial plantation crops other than rubber, oil palm, cocoa and pineapple in Malaysia. Since the 1970's, Malaysia had been the largest producer and exporter of palm oil products in the world. Oil palm produces the most abundant biomass with oil palm fronds have been shown to be a very promising source of roughage for ruminants.
The average crude protein value of OPF was about 7% (Asada et al., 1991; Wong and Zahari, 1992; Dahlan, 1992a). However, the average crude protein (CP) composition of 11.0% in the leaflets suggests its potential value for livestock feeding as it's CP contents was far above the critical 6.25% CP level required to maintain normal intake by ruminants (Playne, 1972). OPF leaflets had a higher CP value and crude fat content than petiols (Oshio et al., 1990). However, Akmar et al. (1996) reported that OPF contained a considerable amount of lignin and silica which could reduce its nutritive value when fed to ruminants. Cellulose levels were usually lower than hemicellulose in both petioles and leaflets.
Although OPF was available throughout the year, it must be collected and pilled up and also used readily or even chopped immediately within two days after pruning. Collection of OPF incurs high costs in which accounted the costs of pelleting and transport. OPF tends to become mouldy during storage due to high water contents of more than 55% (Dahlan, 2000). In order to prevent mould, drying was essential in which also incurred high processing costs. In addition, OPF contains very low protein (5.0-7.0%) and OPF becomes mouldy if not processed (Dahlan, 2000). Mouldy feedstuffs may contain fungal toxicins and were less palatable and have low nutritive value. Low protein content and unbalanced mineral content resulted in low digestibility and low absorption or availability of nutrients for maintenance and production (Dahlan, 2000). Consideration also have to be given to the high silica content in OPF and the slow rate of fermentation of fibre, which reduce VFA and the role of end products of fibre digestion in relation to the over all efficiency of energy utilization. These limitations can be overcome by physical or mechanical processing such as immediate chopping, grinding and drying, pre-digestion of fibre through chemical and biological treatment and stimulation of rumen microbes by supplementation with energy and protein rich ingredients or with urea and molasses and supplementation with essential minerals like Ca, P and S to balance up the nutrient content of OPF (Dahlan, 2000).
Traditionally, rice straw was fed during the periods of feed shortage, but the nutrients for maintenance does not provided adequately. Studies had been shown that buffaloes (Wanapat et al., 1984; Wongsrikeao and Wanapat, 1985), cattle (McLennan et al., 1981; Wanapat et al., 1982, 1984; Suriyajantratong and Wilaipon, 1985) and sheep (Vijchulata and Sanpote, 1982) that were with fed straw alone lose body weight. The straw was usually fed in the long form, but in some parts of Asia, notably India, it may be chopped for limiting selection and wastage of the feeds given (Doyle et al., 1986). There were times in which the amount of straw collected and stored does not enable farmers to feed their animals ad libitum. In these feeding systems, salt was sometimes provided, but other mineral supplements were not given.
Other forages offered with rice straw to stall-fed ruminants were practiced by many Asian farmers. The quantitative information about how much of these forages were fed and how frequently they were given was of little information. The most common feeds available with rice straw were the roadside native grasses, while other important forages were cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz), gliricidia (Gliricidia maculata), leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) and sesbania (Sesbania grandiflora) (Doyle et al., 1986). Also in specific areas forages from many other trees, crops and water weeds, including acacia (Acacia arabica), banana (Musa spp.), jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), and water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes), were utilized (Doyle et al., 1986).
Over the last 20 years, the pasture research team in Malaysian Agriculture Research Development Institute (MARDI) had introduced several hundreds of improved tropical pasture accessions, and promising species and genera have been identified (Wong et al. l982, Wong and Mohd Najib, 1988). The Digitaria genus, Brachiaria humidicola and B. dictyoneura were adapted to the bris soils; B. humidicola and Tripsacum andersonii (Guatemala grass) were important on acid sulphate soil and in areas with a high water table; while on peat, Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) was outstanding. Other promising grasses including Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) and Signal grass (Brachiaria decumbens) were able to perform in any of the sedentary and alluvial soils and in all agroclimatic zones. In the highlands, Napier, Guinea, Signal, Guatemala and Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) and Nandi setaria (Setaria sphacelata cv Nandi) had good production records. They had shown vigorous growth and seed setting.
In the mid 1970s, improved pastures were established as part of the establishment of eight commercial ranch operations (9,682 ha); six farms in Peninsular Malaysia, and one each in Sabah and Sarawak, developed by the National Livestock Authority (Majuternak), with the aim of increasing commercial livestock production (Wong and Chen, 1998). Current total areas of ranch pastures were approximately 25,000 ha in Peninsular Malaysia, 5,000 ha in Sabah and 20,000 ha in Sarawak (Wong and Chen, 1998). These pastures faced some problems of persistence (Chen, 1985) in which they were mainly correlated with the requirement of improvement of the poor tropical soils. The soils had high saturation of aluminium (60-80%) and low soil pH 4.0-5.5 (Wong and Chen, 1998). Break-even on the investment for ranching of animals on tropical pastures in Malaysia's circumstances takes about 10-12 years due to the intense initial capital input and high interest rate of bank loans (Clayton, 1983). Unfavourable climate in Malaysia is also a problem that hinders the development of tropical pastures for seed production in the poor seed setting of most of the promising pasture species (Wong and Chen, 1998). However, there were a few had been identified for small scale production of seed for local needs and such species were the Ruzi grass (Brachiaria ruziziensis) and Guinea grass (Wong and Chen, 1998).
Napier grass or scientifically called as Pennisetum purpureum was a species of grass native to the tropical grasslands of Africa. It was a tall perennial plant that may reach a height of six meter, with razor-sharp leaves 30-90 cm long and up to three centimetre broad (Duke, 1983) and producing 15 tillers at maturity. Its natural habitat was in riverbed areas, and able to grow up to 10 m high (Eilittä et al., 2004) but it was also a drought-tolerant (Bassam, 2010) and where it grew well in drier areas with a drier periods not more than four months. It had a very high productivity, both as a high protein forage grass for livestock and as a biofuel crop which might be 50-55 t/ha/year DM (Bassam, 2010). It can be grown along with fodder trees along field boundaries or along contour lines or terrace risers to help control erosion. It can be intercropped with crops such as legumes and fodder trees, or as a pure stand. The advantage of Napier grass was that it propagates easily. This fodder is very important for smallholder farm (Goldson, 1977) which greatly contributed to dairy cattle feeding in Kenya and CP content of 7.6% produced by 10-40t ha-1 DM (Wouters, 1987).
In the highlands, napier, guinea, signal, Guatemala and kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) and Nandi setaria (Setaria sphacelata cv Nandi) were the promising forages with good production record. Napier grass was best suited to high rainfall areas, but as drought-tolerant grass it can also grow well in drier areas in which are suitable for Malaysia's climate. Napier grass can propagates easily and has high growth and yield potentials. Its soft stem makes it easy to cut, the young leaves and stems are tender which makes very palatable for livestock, and the Napier grass is suitable for feeding ruminant as cut and carry system.
The general fodder grass species used in the S.E. Asian region was mainly the tall-growing types such as Pennisetum purpureum (Napier or Elephant grass), Panicum maximum (Guinea) and Tripsacum laxum (Guatemala grass). Napier had a yield record of up to 84800 kg DM/year when fertilized with 897 kg N/ha per year and cut practices were done every 90 days with annual rainfall of 2000 mm (Vicente-Chandler et al., 1959). The highest yielding fodder and most promising fodder was Napier grass (Anindo & Potter, 1994) which had a dry matter yields surpassing many of tropical grasses (Humphreys, 1994; Skerman & Riveros, 1990). Napier grass had tender, young leaves and stems, which was very palatable for livestock and grew very fast. The young and immature Napier grass was highly digestible but as maturity increased, yield also increased, but quality decreased. The digestibility increased as lignifications of the plant material increased with grass height and maturity.
Attempts have been made to make hay out of Napier grass (Brown & Chavulimu, 1985; Manyuchi et al., 1996) but the succulent stems limit the rate of drying (Snijders et al., 1992a) and with excess drying the stems may become hard and brittle and less palatable to livestock. The cell wall, composed primarily of the structural carbohydrates cellulose and hemicellulose, was the most important factor affecting forage utilization (Van Soest, 1994) as it comprises the major fraction of forage DM and its extent of degradation by the microflora had important implications on forage digestibility and intake (Paterson et al., 1994). The structural polysaccharides composed primarily of cellulose and hemicelluloses were primary restrictive determinants of nutrient intake. The digestibility of forage in the rumen was related to the proportion and extent of lignification (Van Soest, 1994). Chemical composition and digestible DM may be poor indicators of the nutritive value of Napier grass because it does not provide the profile of absorbed nutrients.
During the wet season, the tropical forage species grow very fast, with forage yields often exceeding animal requirements. If not cut and fed, it will continue to grow, producing very long and fibrous material, low in energy and protein (Moran, 1945). If this forage was harvested and successfully stored as silage at the same stage as it is cut for producing milk, then it could be fed back during the following dry season. Although the quality of the forage will be slightly lower than its fresh state (10-15% lower in good ensiling conditions), it will still be better quality than many of the forages only available for dry season feeding. Conversely, in some locations, the silage can supplement other good quality but very slow-growing forages.
Forage harvested for silage should be at the same age of maturity (its optimum), as if feeding fresh (Moran, 1945). Napier grass should be harvested following 30 to 40 days re-growth in the wet season, at about 75 to 150 cm in height, or optimum quality and for ease of transporting to livestock in smallholdings. At this stage, the Napier grass will have about two to three nodes showing on the stem. The Napier grass was harvested every 45 days during the wet season and contained 12% dry matter (DM), 7.5% crude protein (CP) and 62.2% NDF (Moran, 1945).
The usage of silage was very essential in ruminant nutrition (Akyildiz, 1986). Silage, which produced by ensiling method, enables feed conservation in tropical countries such as Malaysia. Grass silage was extremely variable in terms of feeding value and preservation quality. O'Mara et al., (1998) indicated that supplementing grass silage with other forages improves dairy cow performance. Feed sources such as molasses, cereal grains and salt are usually added to silage for ensiling practices and to increase those forges in respect of increasing microbial fermentation and eliminating microbial toxins (Akyildiz, 1986; Jacobs et al., 1995; Kaya et al., 2009).
There are four identifiable roles played by ensilaging the roughage (Cowan, 1999). Primarily, these were to build up reserve of feeds for utilisation during periods of feed deficiency; to have regular supply of feed to increase productivity of animals; to utilise surplus fodder for better management and utilisation and lastly to conserve for use during feed scarcity and additional demand for feed (Cowan, 1999). Silage was also routinely fed to increased productivity of beef and dairy cattle by providing nutrients necessary to nutritionally balance existing diets.
Silage usages were pictured to increase in the S.E. Asian region. There were several reasons for this optimism. Stable supply of forage throughout the year was recognised as the key constraint for further development in cattle production in northeast Thailand (Shinoda et al., 1999), and this was generally true for other developing parts of the region. It had been noted that the economic boom of the 1980s and early 1990s have changed the dairy livestock perspective of S. E. Asian farmers and they have become more progressive and farms move from being subsistence to commercialised units (Wong, 1999).
Silage making was less dependent on weather especially in areas where the cutting practice of the forage was constrained by the seasonal condition. Usually, there were five steps involves in silage making, harvest forage or collect material; materials transport to the silo; filling of silo; packing and compacting the materials for the exclusion of air to favour anaerobic fermentation; and sealing of silo. The types of silo for ensilaging process and for storing silage were horizontal silo, small vertical cylindrical silos, plastic bags, plastic drums and plastic film wrapping of baled fodder (Chin and Idris 1999). There were also some additional steps in order to make good silage, wilting to reduce moisture (many of silage making in Malaysia do not involve wilting); chopping for easy compaction; use of additives to increase soluble charbohydrate and protein; and use of enzymes to aid fermentation. The main usage of silage is for fodder conservation and to make feed available during the scarcity of feed supply (Mohd Najib et al. 1993).
Organoleptic criteria were used to assess the silage quality, which employed silage colour, smell and texture. They were practical and do not required references of a laboratory. However, evaluation made using these criteria was subjective and proned to misinterpretation due to a trend toward the use of the larger rather than a smaller number of silage quality categories which results in differences of opinion (Woolford, 1984).
Chemical assessments of the principal fermentation products give a straightforward basis to assess the quality of silage. Flieg (1938; 1952), suggests that silage quality was better evaluated according to the relative amounts of lactic, acetic and butyric acids in silage: The higher the proportions of lactic and acetic acids to butyric acid, the higher the score and the better the quality. Carpintero et al. (1969) established a good positive correlation between pH value and ammonia expressed as g kg-1 of the total nitrogen in direct cut-grass and clover silages. According to his study, it was considered critical for the anaerobic stability of silage and the ammonia content would be 111 g kg-1 of the total nitrogen at pH 4.2. Langson et al. (1960) proposed that the classification of grass silage as good, intermediate or poor was according to the levels of pH, lactic acid, ammonia, butyric acid and spore count.
The pH level, dry matter (DM) and nutrient contents of grass silage were varies; depending on the kind, vegetation period and additives given (Haigh et al., 1985; More et al., 1986; Rinnie et al., 2002; Cone et al., 1999; Baytol and Muruz, 2003). A study done by Moore et al. (1986), using three different silage sampled of mixed grasses, the DM contents were 34.3, 29.9 and 38.8% respectively, crude protein (CP) contents were 8.12, 9.37, 11.87% respectively and the pH level was 4.6, 4.6, and 4.4 respectively. Another study was done from silage samples made of grass from late vegetation period the CP content and the pH level were 11.3% and 4.10, respectively.
Numerous investigators have stressed the importance in the ensiling process of the percentage of dry matter in the green crop. Wilson and Webb (1937) recognized the importance of the sugar content of plants for making silage, and reported values for a number of different species. Some values for sugar have been reported by Archibald (1953), but they were for chopped green crops with added preservatives. Watson and Ferguson (1937) and Allen et al. (1937) have compared composition and digestibility of the green crop and the resulting silage. Peterson et al. (1935) made a study of dry matter, the several forms of nitrogen, and carotene contents in the crop and in the silage.
Earlier studies have shown the criteria which indicated the quality (good or poor) in grass silage from the standpoint of organoleptic and laboratory tests were: pH, and content of volatile bases, butyric acid, and lactic acid (Archibald et al., 1954). High values for lactic acid indicate good quality silage; high values for the other three criteria were an indication of poor quality silage, as odour, texture and dry matter losses was concerned. Values for these have been statistically correlated with the following constituents in the green, un-ensiled crop: water, protein, fiber, N-free extract, and total sugar.
Effluent flowing out of the storage for no longer than 2 to 4 weeks was an indicative that the silage was slowly deteriorating due to entry of air (Moran, 1945). Wilted silage produced little or no effluent unless the stack was poorly sealed. Un-wilted silage will produce some effluent, which may leak out of drums and stacks into the soil. Only small amount of silage effluent will leaked from well-sealed drums and plastic bags, and may even leak slowly from upturned drums. It was important not to remove drum lids, untie bag tops or hole their bottoms to let moisture out, or to see how they are going. This will allow far too much air to enter, leading to very poorly fermented silages, and even just compost.
Characteristics of silages that had undergone an unsatisfactory fermentation: had a strong, pungent, very unpleasant smell; had a strong ammonia smell; contained excess moisture when squeezed or continually oozes from the base; mouldy or slimy; had undergone much deterioration (>20% DM loss); slightly damp and dark brown; the plastic sheet or lid has not stopped air entry for many days (Moran, 1945).
Chemical composition of the raw material had a dominating influence on the fermentation in conventional silage. In the forage crops, chemical composition were influenced by the weather, growth conditions, the level of fertilizer applied, and the maturity of the material at harvest (Woolford, 1984). These factors in turn influence those components of prime importance to fermentation such as fermentable substrate together with organic acids and their salts. Weather could have a significant effect on silage fermentation by its effect on water soluble carbohydrates in grass (Stirling, 1954). The sugar content of a crop harvested in the early morning after several days of dull wet weather with no sunshine was low compared with similar material cut from the same plot one week earlier following brighter weather. Temperature and light intensity were more important influences on sugar content of a crop than its maturity (Wieringa, 1961).
Ensiling generally produces better quality roughage than hay because less time is required to wilt the feed, when the forage loses nutrients, causing a reduction in feed quality. The principles of silage making were the same regardless of size of operation, the major difference being in the type of storage used (Mickan, 2003).
Unfortunately tropical forages and legumes were not well suited to ensiling due to their inherent low concentrations of water soluble carbohydrates, compared to temperate species (Moran, 1945). However, rapidly wilting the forage or adding a fermentable substrate, such as molasses before ensiling, will usually result in well-fermented silages.
Tropical species were difficult to ensile because of their high buffering ability i.e. their resistance to changes in pH. To enable them to undergo a more satisfactory fermentation, two techniques were available to small holders; wilting the forage prior to ensiling and adding a fermentable substrate at ensiling (Moran, 1945).
Napier grass will be about 12-15% DM at harvest and should, if possible, be wilted to at least 30% DM. when harvested in the morning, wilting may only require the heat of the afternoon of that day, but when cut later in the day or on cloudy days, it may need wilting till midday of the following day. The layer of the material to be wilted should be no thicker than 10cm and should be turned over two to three times to encourage wilting. If too thick, the forage will heat and begin to decompose and encourage the wrong types of bacteria to grow. Forage quality and dry matter will be lost. Since leaves dry more quickly than stems, smashing or conditioning the nodes on the stems and the stems themselves will increase the wilting rate.
If the fresh forage cannot be wilted, the fermentation of the silage will be improved by mixing the chopped material with 3% to 5% molasses (on a fresh weight basis) just prior to ensiling. Adding water to the molasses is not recommended as the forage is already too moist and extra water will just reduce the fermentation quality.
Rather than mixing it thoroughly, the molasses can be spread as layers in the forage, say every 10 to 15 cm. where the molasses was applied, the silage ferments better and was sweeter smelling, but the overall silage quality was still good. Other suitable fermentable substrates include rice bran or formulated concentrates (mixed at 10%) in layers with molasses (5%) poured on top of the rice bran. We found the silage surrounding the rice bran was drier and more acidic (pH 4.1) compared to silage with no additive (Moran, 1945).
The shorter the chop length, the better the compaction, hence less air was trapped in the forage, resulting in better silage quality. Chopped lengths should be from 1 to 3 cm. if chopped lengths were longer, additional molasses (5-6% on a fresh forage basis) may improve the fermentation. However, the stems should be chopped to small lengths because they were harder to compact. Leaves can be left at 3 to 8 cm length. Where the forage had become too long but was still in the vegetative state, only chop and ensile the leaves and the top end of the stems to produce higher quality silage.
Regardless of the system of the silage storage, the forage must be compacted as densely as possible, so compact it until it was difficult to insert your finger into the stack. The shorter the material was chopped, the more dense it can be packed and the less air that will be trapped inside the stack.
The entire silage storage should be filled and sealed in one day, and at a maximum, two days. Silages in well-sealed storages that prevent the entry of air or water will maintain their quality for much longer than will silage in poorly sealed storage.
The main concern with the ensilage of tropical forages was the low dry matter and water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) content. Wilting can overcome this problem but it may not be preferred or always possible during adverse climatic conditions. Suitable additives become an alternative to wilting. Even where wilting was carried out, additives were recommended to improve the fermentation and nutritive value of conventional as well as round bale silages (Bates et al. 1989; Staples 1995).
The additives were used to improved silage preservation by ensuring that lactic acid bacteria dominate the fermentation phase in the ensiling process (Titterton and Bareeba, 1999) and they were divided into three general categories; the fermentation stimulants, e.g. bacterial inoculants and enzymes; fermentation inhibitors such as propionic, formic and sulphuric acids; and substrate or nutrient source, such as maize grains, molasses, urea or anhydrous ammonia (Woolford 1984; Henderson, 1993; Bolsen et al. 1995). The use of molasses was not only improves the energy content of silage but also ensures low pH and prevents proteolysis (Rasool et al. 1999). Four percent molasses added to the ensiled material generally improved silage quality derived from grasses in terms of increased lactic acid content (Aminah et al. 1999).
Molasses, ground maize and palm kernel cake have been utilised locally as additives. Ensiled poultry litter was successfully included in the feed of ruminants as a protein supplement (Kayouli and Lee 1999) and, locally, poultry litter had been ensiled together with pineapple waste. However, the inclusion of additives, although encouraged, was not often carried out due to additional costs and the availability problem. It should be noted that silages have been successfully produced with neither wilting nor use of additives. Maize and forage sorghum crops were made into excellent silage and S. sphacelata var. splendida and P. purpureum were converted into acceptable silage without additives (Aminah et al. 1999).
Inoculation. Since most forage crops intended for the silo are well seeded with lactic acid organisms, it is not to be expected that lactic acid cultures applied to forage to be ensiled will be of very much benefit. This with certain exceptions has been the finding abroad (6) and what similar work has been done in this country has been relatively ineffective. Inoculation of forage in the silo seems particularly absurd when the inoculum is to'be applied, as is the case with one commercial product, on layers of silage at the 1-filled level, the 2-filled level, the 3-filled level, and at the top of the filled silo.
Whey. Soured cheese factory whey is an inoculum which at the same time has a certain amount of lactose for further fermentation. But since several hundred pounds of whey are required to supply the necessary sugar for proper acidity, to avoid excessive amounts of moisture the forage will in most cases need to wilt for several hours in the sun before ensiling. Condensed soured whey is a more logical preservative, as also is powdered whey. The cost of the latter two products and the bother of a very thin liquid, like ordinary whey, may not make whey in its svarious forms very attractive.
Professor Dr Teruo Higa developed the technology of EM in the 1970's at the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan. The first solutions contained over 80 species from 10 genera isolated from Okinawa and other environments in Japan. With time, the technology was refined to include only the four important species cited earlier, namely Lactic Acid Bacteria, Photosynthetic Bacteria, Actinomyces and Yeast.
Lactic acid bacteria: produces lactic acid from sugars. Food and drinks such as yogurt and pickles have been made by using lactic acid bacteria. However, lactic acid is a strong sterilizer. It suppresses harmful microorganisms and increases rapid decomposition of organic matter. Moreover Lactic acid bacteria enhances the breakdown of organic matter such as lignin and cellulose, and ferment these materials which normally take plenty of time. Lactic acid bacteria have the ability to suppress Fusarium propagation which is a harmful microorganism that causes disease problem in continuous cropping. Under Fusarium conditions promotes the increase of harmful nematodes. The occurrence of nematodes disappears gradually, as lactic acid bacteria suppress the propagation and function of Fusarium.
Yeasts: synthesize antimicrobial and useful substances for plant growth from amino acids and sugars secreted by photosynthetic bacteria, organic matter and plant roots. Bioactive substances such as hormones and enzymes produced by yeasts promote active cell and root division. Their secretions are useful substrates for eff ective microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria and actinomycetes. Actinomycetes: are the structure of which is intermediate to that of bacteria and fungi, produces antimicrobial substances from amino acids secreted by photosynthetic bacteria and organic matter. These antimicrobial substances suppress harmful fungi and bacteria. Actinomycetes can coexist with photosynthetic bacteria. Thus, both species enhance the quality of the soil environment, by increasing the antimicrobial activity of the soil.
EMASÂ® (EM Activated Solution) is a fermented product derived from EM-1Â® product mixed with sugarcane molasses and water. EM-1Â® is made up from three groups of bacteria: Photosynthetic bacteria, Lactic Acid bacteria, and yeast. EM-1Â® when mixed with molasses and then non-chlorinated water mixed with the later mixture and then the solution is fermented for seven days and produced as a product called EMASÂ®. EMASÂ® have the special ability to preserve, restore and revive and it is expected to have a better.
The effects of the use of EM-silage in corn silage are less prominent than as to the use in grass silage (Wikselaar, 2000). However, in general the same trends at the use of EM-silage in grass and corn silage are perceptible. The main similarities are: increased number of yeasts at the use of EM-silage, lowering of the pH, increase of lactic acid and acetic acid content, and increase of ethanol content (Kolk and Smink, 2004).
Lactic acid bacteria which contains in EM could produce organic acids and bioactive substances when applied to the soil with organic matter and helped to break the dormancy of seeds. Callus formed in perennial weeds were also prevented, enhance fermentation and decomposition of the weed bank in the soil. Lactic acid bacteria only activate at ground temperature above 5Â°C and enhanced with increasing temperatures while seeds germination occurs around 10-15Â°C. Thus, application of EM must be at the right timing. Diergaardt (2006) reported that EM soaking slightly speeded up the germination of parsley and chives, but slightly lowered the germination and subsequent growth rate of celery. Shehaama (2007) grew taller cabbages with cattle manure and EM than with conventional NPK 2:3:2 fertilizer. Newaya (2004) found that maize plants were taller and radishes heavier when grown in soil to which either chicken or goat manure, each mixed with EM, had been applied, compared to plants grown in soil enriched with either bokashi or cattle manure mixed with EM. However, Nanyeni (2004) did not find a significant difference in height or leaf brix of maize grown with and without bokashi two months after applying the bokashi as top dressing where young maize plants were already established.
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