Scaling up co-produced climate-driven decision support tools for agriculture

Junyu Lu, Maria Carmen Lemos, Vikram Koundinya, Linda S. Prokopy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


There is growing belief that the co-production of knowledge between academics and non-academics is critical to address sustainability problems. Yet, little is known about what happens after co-production and whether and how co-produced knowledge scales up. This article focuses on climate-driven decision support tools co-produced by researchers, farmers and agricultural advisers in the US Midwest. Through two surveys (N = 5,393) with farmers and agricultural advisers, it examines how engagement and marketing campaigns to disseminate the tools influenced their use. Here we find that beyond the highly iterative co-production process, other forms of user interaction such as outreach engagement and marketing campaigns are critical to scale up the impact of co-produced knowledge. Positively, we also show that most surveyed farmers and advisers who were not involved in the engagement phase reported having their needs met by the co-produced tools and were using, considering using or willing to recommend the climate-driven decision support tools. Hence, while co-production alone does not guarantee dissemination, it does increase knowledge fit and use. Dissemination for mass use, however, might require a committed effort from researchers and funders to promote and evaluate use post co-production to better understand societal impact and the role of co-produced knowledge in addressing sustainability problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-262
Number of pages9
JournalNature Sustainability
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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