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Information about the extent of variation in quality traits among plants sampled at the same developmental stage but on different dates would be useful to forage researchers. The primary purpose of this study was to obtain such information for five forage sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] cultivars. Percent dry matter, crude protein, and in vitro dry matter disappearance of leaf, stem, and whole plant samples were determined for field-grown samples harvested on three different days during early head emergence (EHE) and once during physiological maturity (PM) for each cultivar. Orthogonal comparisons between EHE and PM sampling stages and among the• EHE samples were made. Results of the 2-year study indicated that statistically significant differences existed among EHE samples and between EHE and PM samples. However, differences among EHE samples were generally much smaller than those between EHE and PM samples and may be of little importance for some applications.