LINGERING IMPACT: Farmers from North Carolina to Vermont are still grappling with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, which devastated the region a year ago.

WRATH OF NATURE: Irene swept away topsoil and crops and replaced them with rocks and contaminants, with more than half of the damaged land in New York.

WHEN IT RAINS: An early spring followed by cold snaps, a dry summer and an anticipated spike in feed costs caused by the Midwestern drought are other hurdles farmers face.