The production of silage is typically carried out in cylindrical bales covered with polyethylene foils. In this study a novel approach was tested towards obtaining innovative composition of these films.
In the first stage of the experiment six combinations with different composition of additives including microcellulose and nanosilver particles were analyzed. The bales were formed and the forage value was evaluated during the storage after 5, 11 and 17 months based on the analysis of the content of dry matter, total protein, crude fiber, nitrate nitrogen, sugars, acids (lactic, acetic, butyric, and propionic), and determination of pH. In order to assess the microbial forage quality, the abundance of the lactic acid bacteria was determined and compared with the number of aerobic bacteria, yeast and fungi. The foil properties were also analyzed with the appropriate chemical and microbiological methods. The results showed no significant differences (p<0.05) between the standard commercial films and tested formulae. The best characteristics were revealed by the film with the addition of 5% microcellulose.
The second stage of the work was aimed at testing the applicability of a recycled polyethylene (PE) as a film component. Two combinations, each with a nanosilver additive, were prepared: one contained a layer made from a recycled PE, and the second with the conventional PE. Standard methods for the assessment of silage and foil quality were used, as previously. The results revealed no significant differences (p<0,05) between the silages obtained with the use of innovative films and the standard ones. A slightly higher content of acids and elevated pH was observed for the tested formulae compared to the control sample. In addition, a higher number of lactic acid bacteria was observed on the internal surface of film and in the silage for the standard PE foil with the addition of nanosilver than for other variants.