UNITED, ACCLIMATE & CLEOPATRA’S STRIKE ALL RATE BIG CHANCES IN WIDE OPEN GRADE II, $200,000 JOHN HENRY TURF CHAMPIONSHIP THIS SATURDAYARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 25, 2019)–Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella’s highly regarded United and a pair of Phil D’Amato trainees, Acclimate and Cleopatra’s Strike, rate big chances in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita, which has attracted a wide open field of eight 3-year-olds and up at a mile and one quarter.UNITEDOwner: LNJ FoxwoodsTrainer: Richard MandellaIdle since rallying from off the pace for a 1 ¼ length win in a mile and one eighth turf allowance at Del Mar on July 17, this 4-year-old Giant’s Causeway gelding was a troubled second two starts back in the Grade II Charles Whittingham Stakes at a mile and one quarter on turf here on May 25. With Flavien Prat riding back, United could be poised to post his first stakes win in the John Henry.ACCLIMATEOwner: The Ellwood Johnston Trust & Timmy Time RacingTrainer: Phil D’AmatoA front-running 5-year-old California-bred gelding by Acclamation, he registered his first graded win when waltzed to one length gate to wire score in the Grade II Del Mar Handicap going 1 3/8 miles on turf Aug. 17. Ridden by eastern-based Florent Geroux at Del Mar, he’ll be handled for the first time on Saturday by Victor Espinoza. With a hillside start, he’ll shorten up in distance an eighth of a mile.CLEOPATRA’S STRIKEOwner: Slam Dunk Racing & Michael NentwigTrainer: Phil D’AmatoA sharp second, beaten a nose in his So Cal debut, the Grade II San Gabriel Stakes here on Jan. 5, this 6-year-old Ontario Canadian-bred gelding by Smart Strike went to the sidelines and resurfaced in a second condition allowance at Del Mar Sept. 2. A fast finishing second, beaten a head going 1 1/8 miles on turf, he’ll be making his third start for D’Amato on Saturday and should get plenty of pari-mutuel attention.THE JOHN HENRY TURF CHAMPIONSHIP WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 7 of 10 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PTYa Gotta Wanna–Geovanni Franco–121Oscar Dominguez–Joe Talamo–121Cleopatra’s Strike–Abel Cedillo–121Ritzy A.P.–Martin Garcia–121United–Flavien Prat–121Grecian Fire–Mike Smith–121The Street Fighter–Edwin Maldonado–121Acclimate–Victor Espinoza–125First post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
After four decades and 1,926 Caymanas Park victories, trainer Wayne DaCosta became the record champion trainer at Caymanas Park after topping the field for the 15th time with 67 wins in 2015. DaCosta also surpassed legendary trainer and former record holder Phillip Feanny, who has 14 titles. His achievement, surpassing one of the all-time greats of regional training, has given DaCosta great satisfaction, but to him, winning the title in 2015 was no great surprise. “I was confident (coming into the year). I had a full stable of horses, so I didn’t see why the results would have been any different from last year (2014),” he told The Gleaner. “He (Feanny) is still one of the great trainers of Caymanas Park, so it’s definitely a honour to surpass his record. It (15th championship) was indeed satisfying, it’s a great feeling to be number one. I don’t know how long it will last, but I am on the top now, and it is really a good feeling getting the 15th win,” he stated. DaCosta, who is second on the all-time list of winners saddled at the Park, says his love and passion for racing is the secret to his success and he has no plans to take a break anytime soon. “I can continue [training horses] until I die. I am doing something that I like, and from 1976 when I got my licence, I have always liked it. I see no reason why I should stop. “However, you never can tell (how long it will continue) because the sport can change in the turn of a dime. But now everything looks good and I have some good horses in the top class and some nice three-year-olds coming next year, so it could be the same old, same old you never can tell. “I want to thank all of my owners who have stayed with me over the years and my groom, Linval McFarlane, who has been with me for more than 30 years as an assistant trainer. racing has good times and bad times, and you will never know when your bad time is going to come. But I have some nice horses. I hope they keep sound and make it a memorable year again,” he stated. DaCosta trained the top three horses in stakes last year – Derby and Diamond Mile winner SEEKING MY DREAM ($13.58 million), ALI BABA ($5.37m), PERFECT NEIGHBOUR ($5.08m). He was also the leading trainer for two-year-olds, earning $9.06m. Supreme Ventures Jamaica Two-year-old Stakes winner FUTURE KING was the leading earner in this category with $3.66m.
St Jago High School’s Class One 400-metre star Sean Bailey wants to follow in the footsteps of his elder sister and former World and Olympic champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown.Bailey who won his 400m semi-final yesterday in 47.78 seconds, said the former world and Olympic 100 and 200 metres champion serves as his greatest motivation, and though he knows it will not be an easy task to reach her levels of accomplishment internationally, he is seriously trying to get there.”She is my biggest motivation. Every day before an event, she tells me to do my best and enjoy myself. She always tells me that track and field does not stop at high school and that it’s much greater than that, and it can be a profession. So she is very involved (in life), especially educational wise and I am glad to have a sister like her,” Bailey told The Gleaner.The youngster dreams of becoming a world-rated athlete in the future, and he is aware of the amount of effort that is needs to get to the top.’Great legacy'”It’s a great motivation to strive to be a World champion like VCB, as I would like to keep up the tradition of her. It’s a great legacy,” he said.Bailey, who is expected to be one of the main challengers to Kingston College’s (KC) Akeem Bloomfield’s, says upsetting the big KC runner and taking the gold would be very satisfying for himself and big sister.”She is always telling me that everyone is human being and they breathe the same breath, so I can beat anybody, so it would mean a lot to her (if win 400m final),” he said.The quarter-miler, who is still recovering from an injury, hopes to complete the championship healthy so that he will be fit for the Carifta Games.”I know I am not 100 per cent and I went out and gave it my best just to make sure St Jago wins this championship. My expectation is to finish injury-free so I can go and represent Jamaica at the CARIFTA Games. That’s my aim,” he said. – L.S.
Saint Etienne captain Loic Perrin Arsenal have yet to table a bid for highly-rated defender Loic Perrin, but a deal in the region of £8million could be wrapped up before the end of the January transfer window.That’s according to French football expert Julien Laurens, who joined talkSPORT to share all the latest transfer talk from across the Channel.Arsene Wenger is a long-term admirer of the 29-year-old Saint Etienne captain, whose versatility along the back-four as well as in midfield would solve one of the manager’s main issues with his current squad.Perrin recently revealed the north London club have made contact over a possible deal, and while Laurens reveals the Gunners haven’t yet made an official approach, he expects the move to go through later this month.The Le Parisien writer told Drivetime: “Arsene Wenger is a long-time fan of Loic Perrin and has already made contract with the player’s representatives, however there has been no bid made to Saint Etienne.“I spoke to one of the club’s chairmen and he was quite clear that they would sell him if the right offer comes, but there haven’t been any bids from Arsenal yet.“He’s a very a good defender, one of the best in France and one of the best in the whole of Europe as well.“He’s very good in the air, but for me his best quality is that he is very clever on the pitch. He reads the game very well, he anticipates and he’s really good on the ball on the well, which would suit Arsenal’s style.“I think they would probably sell for around £7million or £8million, which is the right price for Arsenal, and I think a deal could be done later this month.” 1
Red Hugh’s Cúl CampsWill run from the 2nd to 6th of August. County Coaching officer (Mick Murphy) has stressed that the cúl camps are strictly over 7’s but will allow. 6 year olds attend with a signed consent form from parents. Consent forms will be made available in the next week. Book online on https://www.kelloggsculcamps.gaa.ie/ or Application forms are available from Maura McCrudden and can be picked up on Saturday mornings. You can also register on the first day of camp.U16 GirlsGaelic training is on every Monday & Friday from 7:30 – 8:30pm. Training is €2 per week. Can everyone please make it out to training as the first game should be taking place on 1st week of August? Spread the word! Senior menMacCeallabhui’s charges win their vital junior A Championship clash with a well deserved 1-06 to 2- 22 points victory over rivals Lifford at Monellan on Saturday night. Red Hughs started the game with real tempo and blitzed Lifford in the first half with score 1-10 to 0-3 at halftime. Even though the game was all but over at halftime the cross men kept their foot on the pedal with superb attacking second half display which featured some brilliant team scores. Ciaran Kelly yet again excelled in nets with his pinpoint kick outs, the fullback line of Shane McGlinchey, Sean Sweeney and Dylan Irwin were the solid foundation of the team.The half backline of Alfie Mongan , Odhran and Cathal Doherty were the launch pad for alot of the red hughs attacks with their constant driving runs while the midfield partnership of Damien Browne and Gerard Melaugh were engine of the team but also giving a exhibition of long rang shooting.The two inside forwards of David Gallen and Pauric McMenamin won a lot of dirty ball inside and laid it off to the onrushing half forward line of Colm Melaugh, James Carlin and Calvin Bradley who superbly applied the finishing touches. Veteran PJ Gallagher marshalled the team brilliantly also coming up with a superb score. This superb team win now means Red Hughs are through to the Quarter finals of the Junior A ChampionshipRed Hughs: Ciaran Kelly; Shane McGlinchey, Sean Sweeney, Dylan Irwin; Alfie Mongan, Odhran Doherty (0-4), Cathal Doherty (0-1); Gerard Melaugh (0-2), Damien Browne (1-6, 2f); P J Gallagher (0-1), Calvin Bradley (1-2), Colm Melaugh (0-3); James Carlin (0-2), Pauric McMenamin (0-1), David Gallen.ReservesCathal Doherty’s reserve team travelled to Clonmany on Sunday to play Urris in the Junior B Championship. The team put in a spirited performance in terrible weather conditions with only one point between the sides with 10 mins to go. Urris found an extra gear to pull away in the final minutes to leave the final score 2-12 to 1-9.The next match in the group is against Muff at home this Sunday the 31 st of July with a 1pm throw in. All support needed as this is a win or bust game for the team to progress out of the group.Red Hugh’s 5KA big thank you to everyone who took part (from near & far) in the Clg Red Hughs 5k, great running/walking and a few pbs along the way too. Also a big thank you to the organisers (Joe, Gerard, Derek, Mark Connolly & Neil Martin), Denis our chairman for starting the race, the marshalls/ Vintage Club, Joe Maxwell Bus Hire, the Garda, all who helped with registrations, taking times and numbers, Joe, Sinead & James for the time sheets, the people that sorted water for the finish line, Kieran Carlin for the video clip, those who brought the food & sponsored the prizes and of course to the ladies that sorted the tea you were diamonds!All club people who helped out in any way (cutting the overgrown grass/ nettles on the exit path out of the woods, tidying up when everything was finished). Everyone who came out to cheer on the runners & walkers the support was very welcome.Congratulations to the Prize Winners: SM Gavin Crawford 24/7 tri 15.54SW Nakita Burke LAC 18.16JB Jack Gillespie FVAC 18.28JG Serena Merritt KCR 29.36 Congrats also to the winners of the spot prizes.Underage Strictly Come DancingThe Red Hugh’s strictly come dancing is now fixed for Friday the 21 st of October. This should be a great evenings entertainment. Anyone interested in taking part contact Liam Doherty, Alice Doherty and Diane GallagherGAA News: Red Hugh’s Cúl Camps to launch next week was last modified: July 26th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Cul CampsRed Hughs GAA notes
gameday cracker 4 TOP WORK The strength of the Eredivisie often gets bad press, especially given some of the flop transfers who have chanced their arm in the Premier League, including Tottenham striker Vincent Janssen, who was stripped of his No.9 shirt in the summer.Eindhoven, though, will be no pushovers, possessing some real star quality which has helped them score 36 goals in nine game – an average of four per game – and concede just THREE in the Dutch top-flight.So who are the players Tottenham need to worry about in the Netherlands? Find out below. Most Popular Premier League Stories changes Hirving LozanoThe Mexican won plenty of fans at World Cup 2018 as he helped his nation knock Germany out of the tournament and he’s carried on where he left off by netting eight goals and creating three in the league.Playing as part of Van Bommel’s front three, Lozano can play on the left or right, making him fairly unpredictable. The Mexican ace could trouble Spurs. Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion The Spaniard could be the one who got away for Man City. How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings Pereiro is going from strength to strength. Already a Uruguay international he’s beginning to step up and could soon be on the radar of much bigger clubs as he continues his fourth campaign in the Netherlands.Pereiro, 23, also once had a ten-day trial at Liverpool along with three other Nacional team-mates.AngelinoOnce on the books at Manchester City, the Spanish left-back flew the nest in the summer after loan spells to New York City FC, Girona, Mallorca, and NAC Breda.He’s settled in nicely too with three assists already to his name proving he’s a real threat from the flank. Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update tense 4 predicted revealed Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? PSV Eindhoven line up against Inter Milan. whoops Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? 4 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury He’s both skilful and a diligent worker willing to track back as well as score goals, while also impressing with his ability at set-pieces.Whoever lines up in defence could be in for a tough evening against the man nicknamed ‘Chucky’.Gaston PereiroThe Uruguayan attacking midfielder can unlock tight defences with his delightful left foot, while his drifting movement can cause anyone marking him some real issues.He’s nimble and quick-witted allowing him to adapt to evolving situations around him and a capable goalscorer with a record of around one in every three matches. 4 SORRY huge blow Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 Tottenham Hotspur’s hope of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League could be given another blow tonight if PSV Eindhoven have anything to do with it.The Dutch outfit, like Spurs, have lost their first two clashes in the group stages, being defeated 4-0 by Barcelona and 2-1 by Inter Milan. latest Guardiola-inspired tactics: Is this how Arsenal will line up under Arteta? The 21-year-old isn’t just an attacking full-back though and is capable of clamming up the right flank, where Spurs play 37 per cent of their football.It may just be Pep Guardiola had the answer to his left-back troubles at the Etihad the whole time.
Now 46 years later, Daley’s son, Richard M., is running the city and finally the White Sox are back in the Fall Classic to face St. Louis or Houston beginning Saturday. There are plenty of differences, some similarities, too. The 1959 team, like the current one, was very good in one-run games, going 35-15. This year’s team is 37-20, including the playoffs. Wynn was the ace and won the Cy Young. Fox hit .306 and was the MVP. Jim Landis patrolled center field with grace, catcher Sherm Lollar hit 22 of the team’s 97 homers last in the AL and Aparicio had 56 of the league-best 113 stolen bases. They made a great late-season pickup by getting Ted Kluszewski, who had 10 RBI and three homers in a six-game World Series loss to the Dodgers. The White Sox won the opener 11-0 behind two homers from Kluszewski, lost the next three, and beat Sandy Koufax before 92,706 at the Coliseum 1-0 before the Dodgers defeated Wynn in the Game 6 clincher at Comiskey Park. In one of baseball’s most memorable pictures, left fielder Al Smith got a beer bath from a fan as he was chasing a home run by Charley Neal in a Game 2 loss at Comiskey. “I thought we had a very good team, player for player, against the Dodgers. When we won the first game 11-0, I figured, ‘Boy, this going to be it,” ‘ Pierce said. “It didn’t turn out that way, but I still think we had a great ballclub.” Landis and Pierce were watching Sunday when the current White Sox finished off the Angels in the AL championship series, thrilled that the long wait since they were in the spotlight is finally over. “What can you say? The Red Sox waited so many years. The White Sox waited so many years, and they’re there now,” Landis said. “You never know when. Some people think (1959) was a fluke. Well, I don’t feel that way. I always say the ’59 team was a great club, and three Hall of Famers came from that club so that’s a pretty good indication.” Even though the current White Sox had more power and hit 200 homers, they were restructured in the offseason to be better defensively and rely on pitching. That came through against the Angels when they strung together four consecutive complete games, something that hadn’t been done in the same series since the Yankees had five consecutive complete games in the 1956 World Series. “It proves a point as far as I’m concerned: A pitcher can go nine innings. … If you’ve got some good pitching, they can go all the way,” Landis said. Aaron Rowand and Paul Konerko told him in spring training, “We are going to be so much better because our defense is so much better.” They lived up to that.” One of the major differences now is the media crush descending on the players. Pierce and Landis had to deal with some interview requests, but nothing like the current team. In fact, Pierce said he’s probably done as much talking in the two days since the current White Sox won than he did when he was actually a participant. “TV was there but nowhere like it is now,” Pierce said. And the clamor over the length of time it has taken the White Sox to get back to the World Series is non-stop, much moreso than when the “Go-Go Sox’ finally returned it to the Windy City. “I think we hear it much more now that it’s 46 years since we did it in ’59 than we did at that time about 1917 or 1919,” he said. “I hear a lot more now.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It was also the year current Chicago coaches Harold Baines and Greg Walker were born. Managed by Al Lopez, the White Sox featured the up-the-middle defense of shortstop Luis Aparicio and steady second baseman Nellie Fox and the pitching of 22-game winner Early Wynn all Hall of Famers. These White Sox sent a baseball-hungry town into a tizzy. CHICAGO — Those “Go-Go Sox’ stole more bases than they hit homers, were built for defense and speed, batted .250 as a team and had a 39-year-old as their ace. When the White Sox last ended a four-decade pennant drought, the year was 1959: Castro came to power in Cuba, Alaska and Hawaii came on board as states, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened and a first-class stamp cost four cents. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week When they beat the Cleveland Indians to win their first AL pennant since the scandal-scarred “Black Sox’ in 1919, air raid sirens went off in the city. “When we came back at 2 o’clock in the morning there are forty or fifty-thousand people at Midway Airport that was tremendous,” left-handed pitcher Billy Pierce recalled Tuesday. “Then, we were driving home in a taxicab. It was 2:30 by that time or 2:45, and the lawns had flares on them. People were sitting on their porches.” Earlier, people went rushing into the streets, not necessarily to celebrate but because there was a Cold War going on with the Soviet Union and not everyone was sure why the sirens were sounding at night. “After 40 years of waiting for a pennant in the American League, I assume that everyone who was watching the telecast was happy about the White Sox’s victory,” mayor Richard J. Daley said in the Chicago Tribune, adding that the sirens were sounded “in the hilarity and exuberance of the evening.”
George Groves will challenge Carl Froch for the world super-middleweight title later this year. The fight is expected to take place on 23 November, with the venue soon to be confirmed.Nottingham’s IBF champion Froch, 36, has long been mooted as a possible opponent for the unbeaten Groves, 25, who is currently Commonwealth champion and has also held the British title.Groves, from Hammersmith, was initially expected to take on WBO title holder Robert Stieglitz ahead of a possible showdown with Froch next year.But he was subsequently installed as the IBF’s mandatory challenger and Eddie Hearn, who promotes both fighters, recently revealed that talks were taking place with a view to the pair meeting sooner rather than later. Froch is also billed as the WBA champion, a title he effectively shares with American star Andre Ward, who beat him in 2011 and has the official title of the organisation’s ‘super’ champion.That defeat is one of only two suffered by Froch in his 33-fight career, during which he has been world champion three times.The step up to world level will come in Groves’ 20th professional fight and the Londoner insists he is ready for the challenge.Groves said: “If you look at good world champions – current, present and previous – they usually step up around the 20-fight mark and at around the age of 25.“We know what we have to do. I’ve been written off and been the underdog before and I relish it.“It’s the perfect fight for me. There will be a massive British audience and it’s against an established British world champion.”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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorOMAHA (DTN) — Investigators at the Food and Drug Administration spent the past two months trying to track the source of romaine lettuce linked to 172 confirmed illnesses, 75 hospitalizations and at least one death. The FDA found at least one Arizona farm involved but agency investigators can’t confirm if all of the illnesses came from one grower, harvester, processor or distributor. They are still looking. Several consumer groups wrote the FDA last week pressing the agency to propose rules for “comprehensive and rapid traceability of produce, including leafy greens.” The groups noted FDA has struggled in the past to find the source of outbreaks. “This failure to fully solve this outbreak comes on the heels of another unsolved E. coli outbreak linked to leafy greens last fall,” the groups wrote. Among the solutions, the consumer groups wrote to FDA, is blockchain technology. While FDA is taking months to find the source of a food outbreak, retailers and others have traced products from the store back to the farm in as little as 2.2 seconds. The consumer groups pointed to a collaboration between food companies such as Tyson Foods, Nestle and others working with IBM since late 2016 to identify areas where the food supply chain would benefit the most from blockchain. Food traceability was at the top of the list. TESTING THE THEORY To test their theory, Walmart took seven days to trace the origin of a shipment of mangoes. Using a digital ledger, it took 2.2 seconds to do the same thing. (https://goo.gl/…) Blockchain remains largely associated with crypto-currencies such as bitcoin. But the core product of a digital ledger not only helps ensure secure transactions, but provides a source trail of a product: All of the records of ownership and movement are digitally held in blocks of data. A broad array of industries are delving into blockchain transactions for supply logistics, but that traceability component is making blockchain ledgers more attractive in the food industry. Using blockchain for food is still in its infancy, but there are more examples of tracking products such as mangoes, tuna, milk or avocados from the restaurant back to their origins. Startup companies are popping up to create the platforms for sellers, buyers and consumers. PILOT PROJECTS LOOK INTO PRACTICALITY The Produce Marketing Association didn’t want to comment on the consumer groups’ letter specifically, but the group pointed to industry requirements and efforts already underway to trace foods. PMA also noted that some of its members are already involved in pilot projects looking at the practicality of blockchain to find the source of an outbreak. “Blockchain theoretically presents opportunities to aid and speed traceability, though time will tell exactly how, its practicality and what that might look like,” PMA said in a statement to DTN. Earlier in May, Farm Credit lender CoBank released a report about the rapid growth of blockchain and the changes it could bring for agriculture. Tanner Ehmke, manager of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division, said the technology offers revolutionary change for food traceability, tracking commodities and the grain trade overall. CoBank hasn’t directly been involved in any blockchain trades, but Farm Credit lenders are getting a lot of questions. “We’re getting a lot of interest about what’s going on. That’s the main thing,” Ehmke said. “Everyone’s curious about it. As for uses, we haven’t done anything here, but we’re looking at it and have our IT department looking at it, as are most banks.” The main emphasis initially is creating more ease of transactions. Blockchain means less paperwork and more security for logistics and the supply chain. CoBank sees blockchain accelerating traceability for both farmers and consumers. That also will likely lead to more scrutiny, but also increased sales in the grain sector because of identity preservation. GETTING CLOSER TO CONSUMERS “That’s ultimately where this goes is value creation for farmers tying themselves to the supply chain closer to the consumer, specifically consumers interested in having more information about where their food comes from,” Ehmke said. “So there is an opportunity to create value in that.” Ehmke points to a Denver coffee shop in which consumers can use a QR code to trace the cappuccino. “You can see all of the transactions that took place with that coffee all the way to the grower,” he said. “If these people are willing to pay money for that information, then blockchain is how you get that information to them. So I think that would be an opportunity for farmers to use this technology and to profit from it.” The problem, Ehmke said, is how does this technology unfold in commodity agriculture with such a variety of information technology systems? “We have a lot of co-ops with IT systems from a couple of decades ago. Are they going to be able to migrate to a new system? Probably, but the question is what kind of timeline is that?” Rod Snyder, president of the sustainability group Field to Market, said blockchain ledgers have been coming up more in the group’s conversations during the last six months with member companies. IBM presented to the organization about its work with Walmart in China. Snyder sees potential; he thinks food safety will drive digital ledgers more rapidly, but eventually migrate into moving agriculture’s sustainability data through supply chains as well. “I think we’re a long way from that being a reality and in the United States, where there are generally fewer perceived risks like deforestation or illegality of supply chains or child labor, you probably won’t see that much pressure around that level of traceability,” Snyder said. “I just don’t know if companies are going to prioritize that. So right now there is a lot of chatter, but not a lot of examples yet how it would come to play in the sustainability space.” MOVING BEYOND CHATTER Louis Dreyfus Commodities made a big splash back in January with a soybean sale to Asia using blockchain ledgers. That remains LDC’s only major blockchain transaction, but Robert Serpollet, global head of trade operations at LDC, said the test trade helped the company “realize the immense potential of blockchain.” LDC is taking steps to make these trades more commonplace. Still, Serpollet said there is more work to go from proof of concept to scaling up the commodities industry. Earlier this month, London-based HSBC and ING Bank announced they had used a blockchain platform from the firm R3 for a shipment of soybeans from Argentina to Malaysia, through the Geneva-based trading arm of Cargill Inc., with another Cargill subsidiary in Singapore as the buyer. The banks cited that such a deal normally takes between five to 10 days to complete paperwork, but ended up getting done in 24 hours. Cargill did not respond to multiple queries from DTN. In the news release announcing the sale, Cargill Regional Treasurer Rani Misra said the company believes blockchain is a “key technology” and Cargill is exploring with more customers. “Simply put, we took a highly manual, complex transaction and made it more secure and efficient,” Misra said. “We see the exciting potential of extending this technology into other areas of our financial ecosystem.” While most blockchain trades or deals in agriculture for now seem to involve larger companies, there are startups out there looking to bring the technology closer to the individual farmer. Luis Macias, co-founder and CEO of GrainChain, a Texas-based software developer, is starting to test a platform called GrainChain. The app would basically allow farmers and grain elevators to make sales outside their normal circles. GrainChain pays using a crypto-currency, “tokens” that Macias said is backed by U.S dollars. “Eventually what we’re looking at doing by the end of this year is give them a marketplace to be able to sell on a more open forum,” Macias told DTN. “It’s definitely going to be a downhill process. Our target isn’t the specific farmer. Our target is going to be the grain elevators, the co-ops and the larger buying facilities. Our farmers are just getting the benefits, but we are working closely with the farmers so they understand the process.” In a pilot project expected to start in September, Macias said 500 farmers will get help to deal with office logistics so they’re more seamless and digital. Farmers will also have the security of third-party verification on payment, Macias said. Beyond farmers in the U.S., Macias has also been going to blockchain events in Central American and Europe to seek customers as well. “Blockchain is not just crypto-currency but allows for security in those transactions,” Macias said. “All of these products also provide an element of down-to-field-level traceability of the purchases. I think eventually everyone is going to have to be in this kind of scenario to do profiteering.” Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(ES/BAS)© Copyright 2018 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.