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Saint-Anicet Municipality

Our Countryside: A living space to share in Montérégie | Noise

In search of tranquility, many people leave cities for life in the country. They expect to find peace and quiet. But the countryside is also a workplace for farmers, where we hear machinery, heavy vehicles, farm equipment, and animals. All these noises are the echoes of agricultural work, but efforts are made to mitigate them.

In fact, farmers and organizations are working together to find concrete solutions to reduce the sources of agricultural noise. For example, over the years, many farmers have chosen to plant certain types of trees near their buildings to reduce noise propagation, and to install quieter ventilation or sound-absorbing materials. Despite these measures, sometimes sounds emitted become noise, depending on the sensitivity of the person who perceives it, but also on sound volume, intensity, persistence, and even the environment. For instance, a machine working at night might be amplified by the surrounding silence and will become a problem in daily life.

Therefore, some farmers have decided to warn neighbours who might be inconvenienced by the noise and explain its origin, whether it is the operation of a grain dryer, an irrigation pump or other equipment. Often, this noise is from a normal agricultural practice. Farmers plan equipment installation and use, find a location as far from dwellings as possible when it is a fixed installation, prefer sound reduction methods, and wherever possible, consider the time of day when undertaking noisy work in the fields. Farmers must also respect provincial standards and municipal regulations for mitigating inconveniences associated with farming activities, including noise pollution.

As in all good neighbourly practices, communication remains the key to sustainably harmonious relationships between farmers and their neighbours. From another perspective, it is essential to take to heart that farmers are dependent on weather and the time available for completing farming activities. Farming is not easy. When farmers work their land, spread fertilizers, sow seeds, harvest, and dry grain, they may use noisy equipment. Living together in an agricultural environment sometimes requires patience and understanding.

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