4 factorial field experiment with a complete randomised split-plot design with four replicates was conducted from June 2002 to March 2003 at the experimental farm of the Nong Lam University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to determine effects of different harvesting heights (10, 30 and 50 cm above the ground) and cutting intervals (45, 60, 90 and 285 days) on yield of foliage and tubers, and chemical composition of the foliage. Cassava of the variety KM 94 grown in plots of 5 m
10 m at a planting distance of 30 cm
50 cm was hand-harvested according to respective treatments, starting 105 days after planting. Foliage from the control treatment (285 days) and all tubers were only harvested at the final harvest 285 days after planting. Dry matter and crude protein foliage yields increased in all treatments compared to the control. Mean foliage dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) yields were 4.57, 3.53, 2.49, and 0.64 tonnes DM
and 939, 684, 495 and 123 kg CP
with 45, 60, 90 and 285 day cutting intervals, respectively. At harvesting heights of 10, 30 and 50 cm the DM yields were 4.27, 3.67 and 2.65 tonnes
and the CP yields were 810, 745 and 564 kg
, respectively. The leaf DM proportion was high, ranging from 47 to 65%. The proportion of leaf and petiole increased and the stem decreased with increasing harvesting heights and decreasing cutting intervals. Crude protein content in cassava foliage ranged from 17.7 to 22.6% and was affected by harvesting height and cutting interval. The ADF and NDF contents of foliage varied between 22.6 and 30.2%, and 34.2 and 41.2% of DM, respectively. The fresh tuber yield in the control treatment was 34.5 tonnes
. Cutting interval and harvesting height had significant negative effects on tuber yield. The most extreme effect was for the frequent foliage harvesting at 10 cm harvesting height, which reduced the tuber yield by 72%, while the 90 day cutting intervals and 50 cm harvesting height only reduced the yield by 7%. The mean fresh tuber yield decreased by 56, 45 and 27% in total when the foliage was harvested at 45, 60 and 90 day cutting intervals, respectively. It is concluded that the clear effects on quantity and quality of foliage and the effect on tuber yield allow alternative foliage harvesting principles depending on the need of fodder for animals, value of tubers and harvesting cost. An initial foliage harvest 105 days after planting and later harvests with 90 days intervals at 50 cm harvesting height increased the foliage DM and CP yield threefold, but showed only marginal negative effect on tuber yield.