||Empirical findings on actors’ roles and responsibilities in the climate change adaptation process are rare even though cooperation between private and public actors is perceived important to foster adaptation in agriculture. We therefore developed the framework SAER (Stimuli-Actions-Effects-Responses) to investigate perceived relationships between private and public climate change adaptation in agriculture at regional scale. In particular, we explore agricultural experts’ perceptions on (i) climatic and non climatic factors stimulating private adaptation, (ii) farm adaption actions, (iii) potential on-farm and off-farm effects from adaptation, and (iv) the relationships between private and public adaptation. The SAER-framework is built on a comprehensive literature review and empirical findings from semi structured interviews with agricultural experts from two case study regions in Austria. We find that private adaptation is perceived as incremental, systemic or transformational. It is typically stimulated by a mix of bio-physical and socio-economic on-farm and off-farm factors. Stimulating factors related to climate change are perceived of highest relevance for systemic and transformational adaptation whereas already implemented adaptation is mostly perceived to be incremental. Perceived effects of private adaptation are related to the environment, weather and climate, quality and quantity of agricultural products as well as human, social and economic resources. Our results also show that public adaptation can influence factors stimulating private adaptation as well as adaptation effects through the design and development of the legal, policy and organizational environment as well as the provision of educational, informational, financial, and technical infrastructure. Hence, facilitating existing and new collaborations between private and public actors may enable farmers to adapt effectively to climate change. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.