Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365278

Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Minerals and potentially toxic elements in corn silage from tropical and subtropical Brazil

item MOTTA, ANTONIO - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item ARAUJO, ELOA - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item BROADLEY, MARTIN - University Of Nottingham
item YOUNG, SCOTT - University Of Nottingham
item BARBOSA, JULIERME - Uninga University Center
item Prior, Stephen - Steve
item SCHMIDT, PATRICK - Universidade Federal Do Parana

Submitted to: Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/16/2020
Publication Date: 5/25/2020
Citation: Motta, A., Araujo, E.M., Broadley, M.R., Young, S.D., Barbosa, J.Z., Prior, S.A., Schmidt, P. 2020. Minerals and potentially toxic elements in corn silage from tropical and subtropical Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia. 49:e20190214.

Interpretive Summary: An important source of fiber and energy, corn silage is one of the most important conserved forages. However, the mineral composition of silage is often disregarded in feed formulations. Our main objective was to determine the mineral composition of corn silage produced in the most important dairy-producing regions of Brazil. Our results showed that silage could be a source of up to 30% of macronutrients and 80% of some important micronutrients required by dairy cows. Considering these attributes, mineral values from corn silage should be carefully considered when formulating balanced diets.

Technical Abstract: Data on mineral composition of corn silages is scarce, and these values are required for proper feed balance in high-performance animal feeding. Our aim was to assess the mineral composition of corn silages produced in four states of Brazil: Goiás, Minas Gerais, Paraná, and Santa Catarina. In total, seventy-three samples were analyzed. Total element content was extracted by HNO3 and H2O2 microwave assisted digestion, and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to determine concentration. Of the thirty-one elements analysed (Ag, Al, As, B, Ba, Be, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, K, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, Pb, Rb, S, Se, Sr, Ti, Tl, U, V, and Zn), levels of twenty-one were above equipment detection limits. No elements reached the maximum tolerable concentration, but levels of Ca (0.14 – 0.15%), Cu (3.4 – 5.6 mg kg 1), P (0.13 – 0.16%), S (0.06 – 0.08%) and Zn (13 – 19 mg kg-1) were below the ideal concentration for good nutritional balance. The strong and consistent correlation observed between Fe and Ti in silage samples indicated contamination by soil. Mean concentrations of Cu, Mn, Mo, P, S, and Zn were different among states, and canonic analyses successfully discriminate samples according to their state of origin. Minerals from corn silage should be considered when formulating balanced cattle diets. In order to ensure silage quality, farmers must adopt strategies that reduces contamination by soil during the ensiling process.