CUMMING, Ga. — When Kinze Manufacturing wanted to do something special for its 50th year in business, the company used MapShots technology to accomplish it. The Williamsburg, Iowa-based equipment manufacturer planted two 1.5-acre multi-cropping displays of the number 50 in yellow canola against a green backdrop of soybeans along Interstate 80. But they couldn't have done it without a little help from their friends.

Kinze Manufacturing's 50th anniversary multi-cropping display can be seen along I-80 this summer.

"My dad wanted to highlight the latest in planting technology," said Jonathan Kinzenbaw, son of founder Jon Kinzenbaw. The two Kinzenbaws farm together in the Williamsburg area. "We used the commercially available Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid planter, along with a Raven Envizio Pro monitor and Mapshots’ AgStudio software to achieve something the planter was never intended to do -- plant canola seed."

Kinze engineers took on the feat of specially configuring half the seed meters to plant tiny, oily canola seed through the 4900 Multi-hybrid planter’s complex electronic drive system. They configured the remaining meters in the planter for soybeans and wrote a prescription to clearly define the locations of the two crops.

But they had a problem loading the geometry to the monitor, so Kinze called on MapShots to help with the precision ag prescriptions. Ted Macy, vice president of operations at MapShots, put his software skills to work in reconfiguring the windings and multi-part polygon shapes that hampered the export of the original prescription.

When the prescriptions were accurate, Kinze double-planted the area using RTK guidance. "Once the crops came in, the displays turned out exceptionally well," noted Kinzenbaw.

He added that the numbers are unmistakable to all who approached the factory along I-80 from East or West or passed over it by air. "Without the ingenuity of MapShots software, we couldn't have done it," he said.

"The project demonstrated how precision ag software is redefining agriculture, especially for variable rate planting," said Macy. "It was a challenging but fun task and we were happy to help Kinze celebrate 50 years in business."