We identify farms’ optimal investment path in capital assets and compare it with their actual investment to assess the direction and extent of deviation from the optimal investment. A probit model is further used to investigate the determinants of the probability that a farmer over‐ or under‐invests in capital assets. We use a panel dataset of Dutch dairy farms over the period 2003–2013, and find that most farms under‐invest in capital assets during the study period. Although the number of farms that had over‐invested in capital assets is relatively small, these farms account for the biggest share of total investment in capital assets. The probit results show that liquidity, agricultural support payments, age, land tenure and standard output size are important variables explaining the likelihood of over‐and under‐investment.