The major objective of the NJUS Strawberry Breeding Program is the development of early ripening cultivars with excellent fruit flavor and size for production under conventional matted-row, and high density annual production systems. In the 1993 replicated Step 3 trials (1991; 1992 planted), sixteen selections had higher yield than `Earliglow' (8127, 11312 kg/Ha), ranging from 8433 kg/Ha to 13334 kg/Ha. Thirty-one had higher weighted average fruit weight (WAFW) over the season than `Earliglow' (8.8 g; 8.4 g), ranging from 9.0 g to 12.3 g.
Selection for phenotype best suited for annual stem includes: low runnering, strong vigor, earliness, and large fruit size. In 1993 harvested Step III, four selections had comparable or higher yield (range: 12,866 to 27,128 kg/Ha) than `Chandler' (12,950 kg/Ha), as well as larger primary and WAFW (range: 13.5 to 16.4 g). All selections were significantly earlier than `Chandler'. In summary, the NJUS Strawberry Breeding Program has selections for the matted-row and annual production systems which are early, with excellent fruit flavor, size, and firmness for fresh market production.