Argentine farmers to suspend grain sales

Argentine farmers on Thursday announced a four-day suspension of all grain sales and cutbacks on beef sales to protest sluggish progress on economic assistance negotiations with the government. Amid the worst drought in more than a generation, Argentina's farm sector is seeking government help to endure shrinking demand for Argentine soy, wheat, corn and beef because of the global downturn. The government summoned farming leaders Thursday for meeting with a key Cabinet secretary, but Argentine Rural Confederation head Mario Llambias said the gesture was too little, too late. The government says the taxes, which are based on a sliding scale tied to international prices, are already low enough and that it has sent funds to drought-stricken farmers.