Watch a drone launch bugs over hop yards for sustainable pest management on this Yakima Chief Hops video sequence

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Toni Lynn Adams is the digital marketing coordinator at Yakima Chief Hops and produces engaging content. I always check the excellent YCH blog where I see her byline all the time, so Yakima Chief Hops is constantly in our headlines – from expanding his CO2 extraction facilities to his Bigger Than Beer podcast (a series for women). Over the past year, Adams has taken the engagement to another level, releasing a series of Toni Lynn Tries videos with YCH in which Adams teaches us about the world of hop growing and hop processing. For example, I was never aware of how foot pad sewing works until Toni Lynn tried it out at the Double R Ranches in the video above. It looks difficult.

After kilning, a conveyor system drops the hops into presses that produce hop bales that can weigh up to 220 pounds. These hop bales are then sewn, sometimes by hand, for transport. These ranchers can produce 60 bales an hour and around 300 in a day, which is impressive, especially when you watch these people sew. Adams is braver than me for trying.

These videos will get even cooler. In Hop Gun, Adams shows us how sustainable hop farms approach pest control, which includes flying insect-laden drones over hop gardens to release them. Typhilandralus occidentalis or Typh is a beneficial insect and a natural enemy of the pests that can damage the hop crop. The insect drone in the video releases 10,000 Typhs per acre, and these beneficial insects are a sustainable way to grow green hops for craft beer.

We’re excited that Adams will be trying more things. Until then, let her teach you hop training…