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Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge) is the major pasture forage in the southern Gulf Coast, USA. A bahiagrass selection breeding program has been ongoing since 1960 at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station at Tifton, Georgia, USA, to increase forage yield in Pensacola (P. notatum var. sanese) bahiagrass. However, the impact of selecting for forage yield on forage nutritional quality is unknown. Forage quality was evaluated on four Pensacola derived selection cycles (C) of bahiagrass [C0 (Pensacola), C4, C9 (Tifton 9), and C23]. A total of 175 plants per cycle were grown. Forage from individual 1-year-old plants was harvested by hand on 3 October and again on 15 November 2000. The samples were dried, ground, and analyzed using internally calibrated near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) for dry matter (DM), in vitro–digestible organic matter (IVDOM), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and crude protein (CP). Cycle means (g kg–1 DM basis combined over both harvest dates) for IVDOM, NDF, and CP were 497, 810, and 142; 503, 797, and 137; 528, 787, and 132; and 520, 785, and 129 for C0, C4, C9, and C23, respectively. The average IVDOM of C4 was greater than for C0 (P = 0.03) and that for C9 was greater than for C4 (P < 0.001). Results indicated that forage quality also increased with advancing selection cycles for increasing yield.