Vietnam is reported to be one of the most vulnerable countries to future climate change, particularly in relation to sea-level rise and extreme climatic events. Agricultural adaptation and mitigation will be crucial for maintaining food and fibre production. Areas in Central Vietnam are prone to flooding, particularly in the lowland rice production areas. This article presents a case study of how small-scale rice farmers in the lowland areas of Le Thuy district, Quang Binh province, have transitioned into a ratoon system, locally referred to as 're-generated rice', as a means of adapting to early flooding. While ratoon rice systems have been globally implemented, farmers in Le Thuy have adopted this system recently, based on their indigenous knowledge. The ratoon system was found to result in economic, social and environmental benefits for the surveyed households (N?=?80), despite typically lower yields than the conventional system (approximately 70% of conventional). Through the sustainable livelihoods framework, findings show that the ratoon system is more economically efficient than the conventional and also allows farming households to spend more time on other income-generating, social or family activities, which is particularly important for balancing the gender division of labour. However, the new system tests the ability of the region to meet provincial level rice production targets, challenging conceptualizations of food security and livelihood security.