Although transplanting has been a major traditional method of rice establishment in Asia, economic factors and recent changes in rice production technology have improved the desirability of direct-seeding methods. The rising labor cost and the need to intensify rice production through double and triple cropping provided the economic incentives for a switch to direct seeding. Simultaneously, the availability of high-yielding, short-duration varieties and chemical weed control methods made such a switch technically viable. As the rice production systems of Asia undergo adjustments in response to the rising scarcity of land, water, and labor, a major adjustment can be expected in the method of rice establishment. This paper provides a brief overview of the patterns of changes in crop establishment methods that have taken place in Asia and their impact and implications for research and technology development.