1Graduated from College of Agriculture, Zabol University, Zabol, Iran
2Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture, Zabol University, Zabol, Iran
3Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture, Darab Branch, Islamic Azad University, Darab, Iran
4Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture, Yasuj University, Yasuj, Iran
This study was carried out to determine the effects of Lactobacillus plantarum on chemical composition and nutritive value of whole-plant corn (WPC) ensiled at different stages of maturity. Based on local routine practice, WPC was harvested at three stages of maturity as follows: (1) two weeks before routine harvesting time; (2), one week before routine harvesting time and (3), routine harvesting time. Bacterial inoculant (Ecosyl) was used as homofermentive lactic acid bacteria. The inoculant was applied at the recommended level of 1 × 105 CFu/g of fresh forage which was ensiled for 25 days in plastic polyethylene bags. Three untreated silages were prepared for each harvesting time and considered as controls (C). At the end of the ensiling period, all silages were subjected to chemical analysis, DM degradability and in vitro gas production. All silages underwent good fermentation and pH values decreased to below 4. WPC ensiled one week before routine harvesting time and treated with bacterial inoculant, had the lowest pH, ADF (Pcontent and the highest CP content, total gas production, IVOMD, DOMD (P“a” (Pbacterial inoculant (Lactobacillus plantarum) at the recommended level to WPC harvested at one week before routine harvesting time was more effective in enhancing chemical composition and nutritive value of silages, and provide a well-preserved and high nutritive value feedstuff for ruminants.