The present study explored the optimal long-term seed renewal strategy for malting barley for use either of farm-saved seed (FSS) or commercially certified seed (CCS). The dynamic optimization problem was solved by a dynamic programming routine with known parameters for one-period returns and transition equations. The model parameters represented Finnish farm-level returns and costs, as well as genetic improvements in barley yield potential. The results suggested that there is a farm-level economic incentive not to use CCS every year, despite the higher yield potential of CCS compared with FSS. The simulations highlighted the reasons behind the observed yield gap between genetic improvements in yield potential and attained yields at the farm scale.