After a frustratingly late end to harvest most people managed to get their winter rape drilled and most is now growing away, albeit slowly.
I had my suspicions that something other than slugs was nipping it off below the surface when a colleague suggested he had the same suspicions and suggested it might be millipedes. Apparently young sugar beet plants get damaged by millipedes and on further inspection there did seem to be very high numbers. Any comments or observations on this would be most welcome.
Winter wheat is being drilled as I write and is going in very well with good seed-beds and plenty of moisture. Slug numbers are very high in places, especially after winter rape, and some fields have been treated pre-drilling with a reduced rate of pellets. If there are large areas of rape stubbles that are clean of volunteers I would suggest that closer inspection and remedial treatment is worthwhile.