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Field Toppers


For most growers storing and drying too much top means underutilised storage space and the potential for increased fungal and parasitic infection. Nicholson Toppers help overcome these problems by accurately topping to the highest standard.


Most toppers cut the tops and discharge them to the side however the tops may go round in the hood several times before being discharged, this causes mulching particularly in green crops resulting in staining. The Nicholson topper is unique because understanding this problem the topper was designed with chambers for the blades to throw the tops into as soon as they are cut, leaving a cleaner crop to harvest.

Accurate depth control is important, signals sent from the ground sensors are relayed through a PLC to allow for accurate settings, typically +/-8mm.

Heavy duty drives are used though out. The high tensile steel blades rotate at high speed, to protect the operator and the machine the drive is fitted with overrun and slip clutches



Nicholson Star-lifters are used mainly on fresh or short day onions. By removing the soil from the roots while the onions are still upright the need for agitation on the web or lifting chain is reduced therefor reducing damage. For growers lifting the crop with the tops on, conventional raisers can leave some of the bulbs on top leading to sun scold and uneven drying, onions passing over the star-lifter are left on the ground and covered by the tops.


Standard machines are fitted with a quickly removable share, rotating square bar and 2 rows of rotating stars, the share is removed to work in soft conditions.

Discs and ploughs are fitted as standard to each outside to ensure a clean entry for the crop into the Star-lifter.  

 Auto depth control is offered as an option; this reduces root soil and allows the machine to operate at higher ground speeds.  

 The units are also fitted to Main-crop raisers and harvesters; the benefits are better depth control because the operator can see the crop going into the machine and a better flow onto the web to reduce damage. There is also less wear to the web because it is operating above ground level.

Onion Raiser Lifter and Windrowers

Nicholson Machinery produces many different models to suit local conditions and outputs;

Row widths range from 60 inch (1.5metres) to 88 inch (2.25metres).

Number of rows from 1 x 60” to 3 x 88”.

Discharge; single rows, 3 rows into 2 or 3 rows into 1.

Some models are linkage mounted and some are trailed with steering.

Most are fitted with star-lifters at the front; the eco version is fitted with a paddle.

Standard fittings include adjustable discs and ploughs each side, rotating bar and removable share/s.

 Options: Manual or hydraulic agitation, manual or auto depth control.

Whichever model is chosen the same care goes into each machine for damage reduction and quality.

Nicholson Onion Harvester

The Onion Harvester is a purpose designed and engineered alternative to the commonly used converted potato harvesters whose webs are too steep and cleaning systems too aggressive for easily damaged onions. Operating capacity is around 60 tons/hour.

Harvesting onions, particularly a sweet onion, is an area where damage can be reduced. Most onion harvesters are too steep creating rollback, unsuitable cleaning devices creating skinning or bruising, cart elevator too narrow so must run at high speed creating damage in the trailer. 

The Nicholson Onion Harvester has been specifically built to overcome these problems, at a reasonable cost. The Nicholson Onion Harvester gently lifts the onion from the field, ideally from atop the windrow bed contrived by the Nicholson Onion Raiser. The onion is then carried across a cushioned web leaving the small unmarketable onion in the field. Next the onion is advanced to the mechanically controlled elevator and gently delivered to the trailer.


  • Auto depth control

  • Self leveling

  • Self steering

  • Mechanically folding elevator

Nicholson Onion Top Tail Remover - Finish Topper

The Nicholson Top Tailer has been developed to meet the exacting demands of retail outlets requiring high quality display crops without damage. By using a unique twisted stainless steel shaft rotating against smooth faced, spring- loaded polypropylene rollers, the cut is made without pressure on the neck. The spirals run crossways to the crop flow and have right and left twists to ensure rotational movement of the onion. This continuous smooth flow without oscillation or vibration minimises crop damage. The Top Tailer can be used on the onion straight from store or as finishing machine before packing the onion. The machine will top and tail down to 30mm, so pre-grading is not necessary. A 1.2m infeed conveyor is supplied as standard, longer options are available. To maintain absolute control across a wide range of conditions and flow, the bed is split into separate drives with variable speed to each set of rollers. Rams are fitted to vary the pitch of the bed at the discharge end.

Compared to traditional labor intensive systems, the NicholsonTop Tail produces a more consistent finish, with low levels of damage to the crop.