A field experiment in an alluvial sandy loam saline soil was conducted during the winter (rabi) season from 1997–98 to 1999–2000 at the Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes, Hisar, to study the effect of saline drainage water (EC=3.6 –7.4) on five (rabi) forage crops: oat (Avena sativa), rye grass (Lolium rigidum), senji (Indian clover) (Melilotus indica) berseem (Egyptian clover) (Trifolium alexandrinum) and shaftal (Persian clover) (Trifolium resupinatum). All the crops were established using canal water as pre-sowing irrigation and the various irrigation strategies were imposed subsequently. Irrigation with canal water resulted in a 115% increase in forage yield compared with the saline drainage water. The results suggested that alternate irrigation with saline drainage water increased the yields of all the forage crops compared with using saline drainage water only. Further, alternate irrigation, starting with canal water, was superior to alternate irrigation starting with saline drainage water because less salt was added in total. Oat produced the largest green-forage yield (32.3 t ha-1) in the first year while rye grass gave its maximum in the second (34.6 t ha-1) and third years (37.0 t ha-1). Persian clover performed better than did Egyptian clover in all the three years. Interaction between species and irrigation treatments was significant. In comparison with canal irrigation water, there was a 36 %, 42 %, 54 %, 68 %, and 85 % yield reduction in rye grass, oat, Persian clover, Egyptian clover and senji, respectively when only saline drainage water was used for irrigation reflecting their relative tolerances of salinity. Yields declined linearly for all crops with increases in the quantity of salt applied.