Edaphoclimatic condition of the semiarid region is unfavorable for the forage production of livestock. Silage is considered a better alternative to conserve forage crops. Ensiling is a technique for preserving forage, in which the ensiled mass is acidified under anaerobic conditions. The lactic acid bacteria present in the environment produce lactic acid, thereby making the environment acidic, and convert soluble substrates into organic acids. Many microorganisms are involved in the fermentation process of silage and their development depends on the characteristics of ensiled materials, such as dry matter, water-soluble carbohydrate content, buffering capacity and presence of indigenous microbial. Ensiling is a favorable technque used in the semiarid region because it preserves the nutritional values of the crops and the water. Some plant species are produced in semiarid regions because they are resistant to water deficit and high solar radiation. The main crops of semiarid regions are sorghum, pearl millet, grasses, cactus pear, and leguminous. Due to agronomic conditions available for their production during periods of rain, for ensiling these plants are important for the fermentation profile of each species because the ratio of the dry matter to water-soluble carbohydrate content and buffering capacity directly influence the end product of silage.
Part of the book: Advances in Silage Production and Utilization