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.