Yes, it’s this photo again.

This morning, the Department of Agriculture released new projections for the nation’s crop output in 2012. In a word: withered.

From the New York Times:

This year’s corn yield is projected to be the lowest since 1995, according to an Agriculture Department report that sharply cut production estimates for some major crops because of damage from the nation’s worst drought in 56 years. …

After favorable spring weather, United States corn production had been projected to hit a record high, approaching nearly 15 billion bushels, as farmers had planted the most acreage since the late 1930s to capture profits from what were already the highest corn prices ever. …

The new corn yield forecast was a bit worse than some private analysts had expected.

Wired has an interesting look at efforts to develop more drought-tolerant corn — efforts that clearly have not yet had much impact.

This morning, due to the USDA’s new projections, the price of corn futures set an all-time high. Here, for the billionth time, is what corn-future prices have done over the last few months.

Corn futures from CME Group. Click to embiggen.

And here’s the latest drought map.

Click to embiggen.

And here’s Ned Ryerson again.

We’ve seen all of this before; we’ll see it all again. Unless we appeal to the only real solution we’ve got. No, not prayer, Rick Perry already tried that. It’s a “Facebook Rain Dance.”

There’s this “Facebook Rain Dance” meme going around on Facebook, which consists of a picture of rain and a caption exhorting everyone to “post a picture of rain and focus on RAIN for all those that desperately need it!!” One instance of the meme has been shared more than 2,500 times.

When the going gets rough, sensible Americans will always turn to technology.