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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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New research highlights 21 loudest farm machinery items

Ahead of the National Ploughing Championships, Hidden Hearing has ‘cultivated’ the decibel levels of various pieces of farm machinery and farm animals that can contribute to early hearing loss.

With over 300,000 people expected to attend the National Ploughing Championships this week and excitement building for the biggest agri-event of the year, hearing experts Hidden Hearing have produced research that highlights the high risk of noise-induced hearing loss in members of the farming community.

Any noise over 80 decibels can cause noise-induced hearing loss when exposed for long periods.

Farmers and those in manual labour industries are at a higher risk of suffering from early hearing loss as a result.

Ears to the ground: Farm machinery’s toll on hearing 

Hidden Hearing reviewed the decibel levels of 21 different types of farm machinery to create a table of the loudest machinery.

19 out of the 21 pieces of farm machinery included in the research have noise levels above the 80db level that can cause hearing loss, with shotguns, combine harvesters, balers, and tractors among the loudest equipment.

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Even just 15 minutes exposed to noise 100db and over, you will start to damage your hearing.

Any exposure longer than 15 minutes at a decibel level over 100 can have a detrimental impact on your hearing and can cause lifelong damage.

Time to reach 100% noise allowance in a day  Exposure Level 
8 hours 85db
4 hours 87db
2 hours 91db
1 hours 94db
30 minutes 97db
15 minutes 100db


Full decibel chart

Check out the full decibel chart for farming machinery below and you will be shocked at how loud things really get on the farm.

Type DB Level
Shotgun 140
Combine Harvester 105
Baler 102
Tractor 100
Cultivator 98
Tractor Loader 98
Rotavator 96
Power Harrow 95
Milk Parlour 92
Mower 90
Plough 89
Seed Planter 89
Harrow 88
Crop Sprayer 85
Hay Rake 85
Potato Harvester 85
Seed Drill 81
Bobcat 81
Fertiliser Spreader 74
Slurry Tanker 70
Quad Bike 70


Part two of this article to follow on – it looks at farm animals.

See more farming news on including this article on: 6 signs of hearing loss and how to take an online test

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