Ruminal in situ incubations are widely used to assess the nutritional value of feedstuffs for ruminants. In in situ methods, feed samples are ruminally incubated in indigestible bags over a predefined timespan and the disappearance of nutrients from the bags is recorded. To describe the degradation of specific nutrients, information on the concentration of feed samples and undegraded feed after in situ incubation (‘bag residues’) is needed. For cereal and pea grains, CP and starch (ST) analyses are of interest. The numerous analyses of residues following ruminal incubation contribute greatly to the substantial investments in labour and money, and faster methods would be beneficial. Therefore, calibrations were developed to estimate CP and ST concentrations in grains and bag residues following in situ incubations by using their near-infrared spectra recorded from 680 to 2500 nm. The samples comprised rye, triticale, barley, wheat, and maize grains (20 genotypes each), and 15 durum wheat and 13 pea grains. In addition, residues after ruminal incubation were included (at least from four samples per species for various incubation times). To establish CP and ST calibrations, 620 and 610 samples (grains and bag residues after incubation, respectively) were chemically analysed for their CP and ST concentration. Calibrations using wavelengths from 1250 to 2450 nm and the first derivative of the spectra produced the best results (R
Validation=0.99 for CP and ST; standard error of prediction=0.47 and 2.10% DM for CP and ST, respectively). Hence, CP and ST concentration in cereal grains and peas and their bag residues could be predicted with high precision by NIRS for use in in situ studies. No differences were found between the effective ruminal degradation calculated from NIRS estimations and those calculated from chemical analyses (P>0.70). Calibrations were also calculated to predict ruminal degradation kinetics of cereal grains from the spectra of ground grains. Estimation of the effective ruminal degradation of CP and ST from the near-infrared spectra of cereal grains showed promising results (R
2>0.90), but the database needs to be extended to obtain more stable calibrations for routine use.