The objective of this chapter was to discuss the importance of the fermentation processes for silage making and how it affects the final quality of the silage. The preservation of the forage crops as silage is based on a fermentation process that lows the pH and preserves the nutritive value of the fresh crop. The main principle is the production of lactic acid by the lactic acid bacteria from the metabolism of the water-soluble carbohydrates in the fresh crop. However, different fermentations may occur into the silo environment and it depends on the availability of substrate, the microbial populations, the moisture content, and the buffering capacity of the crop at the ensiling. The fermentation is quite important in the ensiling process because it affects the nutritional quality of the silage and the animal performance. If the fermentation does not occur as recommended and the undesirable fermentations will take place, which will result in a total spoiled feed that is potentially risky for animals and human’s health. Well-fermented silage can be used in diets for ruminant animals without any risk for their health and without compromise the productive performance.
Part of the book: Fermentation Processes