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Farmers grappling with Irene even a year later

February 16. 2013 6:46PM

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(AP) A year after Hurricane Irene tore through farms from North Carolina to Vermont, some farmers are still grappling with the aftermath.

An early spring followed by cold snaps, a dry summer and an expected spike in feed costs from the drought in the Midwest have added to some farmers' woes.

But officials say growers are optimistic about the season.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture paid farmers nearly $80 million for insurance claims covering storm-damaged farmland in nine Northeast states.

Sandie Prokop of Crossbrook Farm in New York's Schoharie (skoh-HEHR'-ee) Valley lost feed corn, soybeans, hay and several acres of cropland that became filled with rocks.

Vermont dairy farmer Doug Turner is concerned about how he'll pay to finish rebuilding riverbanks to prevent water from inundating his fields in Waitsfield again.

Associated Press

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