Hailstones can damage fruit and trees, so farmer are keen to do whatever they can to avoid hailstorms.
Anti-hail efforts included religious rites and bell ringing, but when those don't work, the farmers use ... the hail cannon! Here's why neighbors are upset:
After a series of hailstorms devastated the orchard's apple crop in 2007, the owner resorted this summer to using a hail cannon, a noisemaking machine whose sound waves supposedly disrupt the formation of hailstones.
Scientists snicker at such devices. But farmers swear by them. As for the neighbors, they just swear.
"It sounds like artillery fire," said Gregory Connors, a 38-year-old software designer whose children have been woken up by the booms. "I'm up for everybody's right to farm. We support local farmers. But the technology and the way it's being utilized is not acceptable."
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/09/22/hail.cannon.ap/index.html - Thanks Tiffany!