All combinations of four harvesting treatments and two sowing dates were comparedin each of 3 years in field experiments near Nicosia. In two of the years, different levels of applied nitrogen were compared. The harvesting treatments were: (1) a milk-stage cut,(2) a boot-stage cut and a regrowth cut, (3) a grazing-stage cut and a regrowth cut, and(4) three grazing-stage cuts and a regrowth cut. The sowing dates were (1) normal (12 November) and (2) early (15 October), with sufficient irrigation to ensure establishment. There was almost no response to applied nitrogen, evidently because of high reserves of available nitrogen in the soil. Early sowing reduced by 20 days the time taken to reach the stage at which the first node appeared, but increased, by 36 days, the length of time between the first node and the milk stage. Early sowing increased yield when the firstcut was at the grazing stage, but reduced yield when the first cut was at the boot or milk stage. At the grazing stage, the proportion of green leaf blade and the concentrations of nitrogen and nitrate-N were relatively high (means 74, 4·0 and 0·13% respectively) and digestibility was moderate (mean D-value 61). By the boot stage, green leaf, nitrogen and nitrate-N, but not digestibility, had declined (means 21, 1·8, 0·02 and 63 respectively). By the milk stage, green leaf, nitrogen and digestibility, but not nitrate-N, had declined further (means 3, 1·5, 48 and 0·05 respectively). Fully dead leaf blades were 28 units less digestible and 3·2 percentage units lower in nitrogen concentration than emerging leaves. Half dead leaf blades were higher in nitrate-N than fully expanded, fully green blades. 'Stem’ declined greatly in nitrogen concentration, but relatively little in digestibility, between the grazing and the boot stage.
Crops cut once or three times at a grazing stage recovered well, although theretended to be some reduction in the number of tillers compared with an undefoliated crop.