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Guidici Ranch: Jefferson Center for Holistic Management Learning Site

The Guidici Ranch in Oroville, California, in the Sacramento River Waterhshed, is owned and operated by Dr. Cyndi Daley. The Guidici Ranch is 1,800 acres and Dr. Daley leases another 640 contiguous acres to support additional feed production. Most of this ground is native range on heavy clay serpentine soils (low Ca and high Mg). Habitats include annual grasslands, vernal pools and swales, clay flat wetlands, Blue oak woodlands (with some Live oak and Valley oak) and riparian areas. Wyandotte Creek, a seasonal stream, runs through the center of the property.

Dr. Daley’s business entity is called “Sweet Grass, Inc.” and reflects the efforts to finish livestock off grass that is high in sugar – hence the name. In addition to managed grazing, the soils need calcium to make the grasses more nutritious. Dr. Daley’s soil program includes gypsum and compost on the irrigated land. She is working to determine if no-till seeding and light compost applications can improve the seasonal grasses as demonstrated by the recent Marin Carbon Project data would suggest.

The ranch has historically been grazed seasonally from November through May with spring calving cows and stockers.

The types of grass found on the ranch are primarily wild oats (A. barbata), ripgut brome (B.diandrus), soft brome or sometimes called soft chess (B. mollis), hare barley (H. leporinum), redstem filaree, rose clover. Medusa head and star thistle are common invasives found on the property.

Recently 50 acres of irrigated pasture has been created for additional summer feed. Forage species include annual and perennial rye grass, white clover, orchard grass, plantain and some brassicas which will be used to finish beef calves for the grass fed market.