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In Argentine Tax Battle, Bags of Soybeans Get the Knife

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In Argentina, where soybeans help drive the economy, a battle over export taxes has farmers defending their fields at night amid accusations that they’re hoarding crops to undermine the government.

At issue is the growing use of silo bags, sausage-shaped sacks 12 feet (3.7 meters) in diameter and 200 feet long that can hold 12,000 bushels of grain or oilseeds for three years. Some farmers say they only use the bags to store crops until they can get them to market, while others see them as type of savings account. The government asserts the farmers are stashing crops to avoid paying a controversial 35 percent export tax that supports a third of government spending.