Visitors from Stanley Fertilizer, the largest fertilizer company in China, arrive at a Purdue University research farm. They toured campus and mingled with professors during their stay in West Lafayette.
Visitors from Stanley Fertilizer, the largest fertilizer company in China, arrive at a Purdue University research farm. They toured campus and mingled with professors during their stay in West Lafayette.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A group of nearly 80 visitors from China filed out of two large tour buses during a visit to Purdue University.

The group was from Stanley Fertilizer, the largest compound fertilizer business in China. They recently visited Purdue in an effort to build relationships and learn about American fertilizer practices.

The group also will visit Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

“The impression is that in the U.S. farming is on a large scale,” said Zhang Lei, vice president of Stanley. “It’s very impressive to us. We want to see what can be adopted for Chinese farmers.”

In China, farms typically are on small plots, making it less feasible to invest in large pieces of machinery, he said. However, they are interested in implementing practices similar to those in the U.S.

They also must learn how to grow, while still keeping in mind government policies and regulations that are different than those in the U.S., Zhang said.

The company’s leaders asked Purdue professors for advice on how to make the most of their operation.

“We came here to Purdue after Professor Cliff gave us some inspiration on the right direction to go,” Zhang said.

Cliff Johnston, professor of soil chemistry and mineralogy at Purdue, visited China last July to give a seminar to the company.

Johnston said that having a global focus is important to the university.

“Purdue has the largest number of international students of public colleges in the U.S.,” he said.

“We have 4,000 students studying here from China and 9,000 international students total. Purdue is a very global school,” he noted.