The in vitro ruminal fermentation kinetics of three commercial corn hybrids (BRS 1035, BRS 1031 and BRS 1001) harvested at three maturity stages (soft dough, floury and hard-floury) were evaluated. After 96 hours of fermentation there was no change in the cumulative gas production (GPC) among silages harvested for all hybrids (P>0.05). The silages maximal degradation potential for all hybrids decreased with advanced maturity stages, and ranged from 259.32 to 279.96mL/g of dry matter. The lag values ranged from 0h 06min to 1h 54min. For silages from the BRS 1035 and BRS 1001 hybrids, there was an increase in lag with advancing plant maturity. For silage from the BRS 1031 hybrid, the lag values increase when the plant moved of soft dough stage to floury, and was reduced to hard-floury stage. The fractional rate of gas production µ ranged from 0.0292mL/h to 0.0447mL/h. With advancing physiological maturity stages, the hybrids BRS 1035 and BRS 1001 showed an increase in the µ values, since for silage from the BRS 1031 hybrid, the value of µ increased when the maturity stage progressed from soft dough to floury, and reduced to hard-floury. The values of effective degradability were higher for silages from different hybrids harvested at soft dough. The dry matter degradability (DMD) in the fermentation time of 96 hours ranged from 70.14 to 76.40%. The silage from the BRS 1035 hybrid showed better nutritional value when harvested in the soft dough stage of maturity. The silage from the BRS 1031 hybrid showed highest nutritional value at the floury stage, while the silage from the BRS 1001 hybrid showed better nutritional value in the hard-floury stage.
gas production; degradability; maturity stages; corn silage