Performance of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Scherb. cv. 'Ludion') receiving different doses of nitrogen, and lucerne (Medicago sativa L. cv. 'Kayseri') mixtures with tall fescue without nitrogen were compared in Erzurum, Turkey, for 5 years. Hay yield, crude protein content, and nitrogen harvest in mixtures of 1:1, 2:1, and 1:2 tall fescue:lucerne were compared with those in pure tall fescue stands received 0, 50, 100, and 150 kg N ha(-1). The mixtures did not receive N fertiliser apart from 40 kg N ha(-1) in the establishment year. Over the 4 harvest years, the highest hay yields were obtained from two of the three mixtures (1 lucerne:1 tall fescue and 2 lucerne:1 tall fescue, 13.8 and 12.9 Mg ha(-1), respectively). The hay obtained from mixtures had higher crude protein content than that of pure tall fescue heavily fertilised with N. The total nitrogen harvest increased with increasing N applications in pure tall fescue stands, however mixtures showed superior N yield. Alternative sowing of lucerne and tall fescue (1:1) had better and sustainable hay production, crude protein content, and total nitrogen harvest than the other sowing methods. Hence, alternative sowing of lucerne and tall fescue with 30 cm row spacing is recommended for high and sustainable quality hay production in the absence of N fertilisation.