Farmers going deaf
The National Centre for Farmer Health is worried about the number of farmers reporting hearing loss.
The Centre is conducting noise audits on farms in western Victoria to help people manage noise levels on their properties.
Centre director Susan Brumby says shearing and milking sheds, as well as motorbikes and machinery, all contribute to the problem.
"There's reports and published articles saying that it's up to 60 per cent (of farmers reporting hearing loss)," she said.
"That's when people have actually been tested. And certainly our experience throughout the farm families (study) is that around 48 per cent were reporting some hearing loss, so we suspect that that is probably an underestimation."
Sheep farmer Paddy Fenton, from Vasey in western Victoria, is taking part in the noise audits.
He has a new woolshed and says there's not much more he can do to reduce sound levels.
"So I think it's probably up to the individual shearers," he said.
"We had one guy a few years ago who was shearing and he was wearing ear plugs and I thought that was fantastic, but then he had a ghetto blaster and he had that turned up, so that defeats the purpose a bit."
By Lucy Barbour