1. A field trial in which a sward, predominantly of S. 24 ryegrass was fertilized with 248, 301, 532 or 589 kg N/ha showed that a maximal yield of 13·1 tonnes/ha of artificially dried grass could be obtained from four harvests in the year.
2. The materials harvested ranged in crude protein content from 10·1 to 23·6% and in apparent digestibility of dry matter from 72 to 76%. The amounts of the grasses voluntarily consumed by sheep were slightly and significantly lower for those containing the least N × 6·25.
3. In feeding trials with twenty-five steers, a barley diet was compared with a diet entirely of dried grass from the 3rd and 4th harvests from an area in the same field which had received 487 kg N/ha. The cattle given the barley diet consumed 8·7 kg/day and gained 1·22 kg/day. Those given dried grass consumed 8·9 kg and gained only 0·85 kg/day. Carcass quality of animals given dried grass was significantly lower than of those given the barley diet.
4. Calorimetric trials were made using two herbages from the first harvest (501, 532 kg N/ha) and all four herbages from the third harvest. In each of the six experiments three sheep were each given three amounts of a herbage, and in addition were fasted. Fifty-four calorimetric observations each lasting 5 days and eighteen fasting metabolism measurements were made.
5. With both 1st and 3rd harvests, methane energy losses fell and urinary energy losses increased with the level of N fertilization. Faecal energy losses were little affected by fertilizer application and the metabolizable energy (kcal/g D.M.) was 2·8 (11·7 kJ/g) for 1st harvests and 2·6 (10·9 kJ/g) for 3rd harvests. There was a slight decline in metabolizable energy/g D.M. with N application for the 3rd harvests.
6. The net energy values of the grasses for maintenance were 1·99 kcal/g D.M. (8·4 kJ/g) for the 1st harvested material and 1·84 kcal/g D.M. (7·7kJ/g) for the 3rd harvests. Net energy values for fattening, however, were 1·28 kcal/g D.M. (5·4kJ/g) for 1st harvests and 0·87 kcal/g D.M. (3·6kJ/g) for 3rd harvests. There were no significant effects of level of N fertilization.
7. The poorer nutritive value for fattening of the 3rd harvested grass, corresponding to an efficiency of utilization of metabolizable energy of only 33%, was contrary to prediction from equations relating nutritive value to either chemical composition or to metabolizable energy. The results of the calorimetric work, however, agreed with those of the feeding trial with cattle.
8. Combination of the results of the various trials showed that it was possible to obtain 1400 kg live-weight gain/ha from a system of husbandry based on high fertilizer use and artificial drying of herbage. With a barley system a maximal output/ha would be less than half this amount.