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Understanding the long-term variability in climate has important societal implications, particularly for agricultural regions that are suppliers to global food markets such as the central United States. Paleoclimate information from agriculturally important regions of the central United States is limited in length and resolution.

Tree rings provide one of the longest and highest-resolution paleoclimate records for North America; however, millennium-length records are primarily from extreme environments (e.g., deserts, cliffs, high elevations) and do not represent climate-plant responses in the central U.S. agricultural region.