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    Pesticide & Fertilizer Use Studies


    Pesticide and Fertilizer Use Inventory (Study)

    A draft study released in September 2013 found that nearly 6 million pounds of fertilizer and 1.3 million pounds of pesticides are applied across Cape Cod annually, with residential use representing the largest portion in each case. The “Cape Cod Pesticide and Fertilizer Use Inventory” study was prepared by the Horsley Witten Group (Sandwich, MA) for the Cape Cod Commission. Funding for the study was provided through a $35,000 appropriation from the Barnstable County FY12 budget.

    The draft report provides additional data about sources and amounts of nitrogen that contribute excess nutrients to the groundwater and eventually coastal waterways. The study takes a comprehensive look at fertilizer and pesticide use on different land uses across Cape Cod and concludes:

    • Pesticide use to manage utility rights-of-way accounts for 0-1% of Cape-wide pesticide use depending on the portion of the utility right-of-way sprayed each year.
    • Individual homeowners are the largest users of both pesticides (more than 70%) and fertilizers (more than 80%).
    • Golf courses are the second largest users of pesticides (8.7%) and fertilizers (15%).
    • Most non-residential pesticide users are regulated and applications can only be conducted by certified professionals.
    • Reduction in total use and improved management practices should focus on residential users.

    Cover image of the Cape Cod Pesticide and Fertilizer Use Inventory - 9/17/13 DRAFT for Public CommentThe findings are based on a compilation of data from a variety of sources including parcel-based land use classification, Massachusetts Department of Agriculture and Recreation pesticide use reports, discussions with Cape-based landscaping, golf course, and agriculture professionals, an inventory of local retailers, and existing literature on the topic.

    Cape Cod Pesticide and Fertilizer Use Inventory »»
    9/17/13 DRAFT 

    Cape Cod Pesticide and Fertilizer Use Inventory
    Final Report, April 2014




    Herbicide Spraying (Utility Vegetation Management Proposal)

    Many Cape Cod municipalities, organizations, and individuals have raised concerns during the past five years or so about the potential impacts of herbicide spraying on Cape Cod's environment and on public health in the region, expressing particular concern about its potential impacts on the quality of drinking water.

    Chronology of CCC Activities reltaed to Pesticide and Fertilizer Use on Cape Cod: 2010-2013The Commission has worked with local elected officials and utility companies on the issue. The following documents help describe the agency's work to date:

    Timeline: Cape Cod Commission Activities related to the use of Pesticides and Fertilizers on Cape Cod (2010-2013)


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