Pigeons, partridges and skylarks are all being blamed for severe damage to sugar beet seedlings, like this decimated 14ha field of Roberta at High Ash Farm, near Norwich. Sweet-tasting cotyledons were stripped from most plants, leaving apparently useless stumps (left) rather than going on to produce vigorous first true leaves (above), so raising fears of re-drilling, says Marie Skinner. But unlike hail damage growing points remained intact and the crop is now recovering well. Meanwhile, aphids have exploited sunny spells to start migrating, warns IACR Brooms Barn. Where heavy rain has leached Temik insecticide out of the rooting zone, aphicide sprays may be needed soon, it says.