Original scientific paper

Effects of molasses and commercial inoculant on silage quality of cultivated nettle (Urtica dioica L.)

2024, 25 (1)   p. 120-127

Darko Uher, Sanja Fabek Uher, Nevena Opačić, Sanja Radman


Cultivated nettle Urtica dioica L., a member of the Urticaceae family, is widely distributed throughout the temperate regions of the world and can be used as a nutritious feed for animals through the winter period. The aim of this research was to determine (i) the nutritional value of freshly cultivated nettle Urtica dioica L. grown in the open field and (ii) the fermentation value of cultivated nettle Urtica dioica L. ensiled with additives, including a commercial inoculant containing bacteria that produce lactic acid and molasses from sugar beet after 60 days of ensiling. Cultivated nettle Urtica dioica L. was ensiled in six treatments: without additions (control); with sugar beet molasses (2, 4, and 6%) per 1 kg of fresh mass and a commercial inoculant (2 and 4 g/t of fresh mass) in five replicates. The results of this research showed that the cultivated nettle Urtica dioica L. contains a large proportion of proteins and some essential minerals, including calcium, and is especially rich in magnesium and iron. Without the addition of sugar beet molasses and without treatment with a commercial inoculant, poorly preserved silage from cultivated nettle was obtained. With 2% molasses, poorly preserved silage was obtained, but with 4 and 6% molasses, well-preserved silage from cultivated nettle was obtained. Based on the results of these studies, it is recommended to use sugar beet molasses during ensiling in a concentration of 4 to 6% of the fresh mass of cultivated nettle. In future research, it would be interesting to test the joint application of commercial inoculants and sugar beet molasses when preparing cultivated nettle Urtica dioica L. for silage on the farm.


cultivated nettle, silage, molasses, commercial inoculant, chemical composition, fermentation parameters

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