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It is not possible to carry out in vivo pig digestibility studies on each feed or feed ingredient therefore there is a need for a rapid means of predicting the digestible energy content of a feed or feed ingredient. Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) is an extremely rapid technique and has been used to predict chemical composition and nutritive value for a wide range of feeds and feed ingredients (Leeson et al 2000). In the literature, some workers have reported that NIRS has a high degree of accuracy for determining chemical composition and nutritive value while others have reported a lower degree of accuracy. The aim of the current study was to examine the value of NIRS in predicting the digestible energy (DE) content of barley from which pig diets were formulated.