Photo: cranberries.

Dr. Nick Vorsa initiated a cranberry program in 1985 at the Rutgers Cranberry Research Center to improve yield, fruit quality, and genetic diversity of cranberries.  Under the direction of Dr. Vorsa the goal was to breed cranberries to “identify superior parents of diverse genetic background, to produce superior progeny with improved traits.”

After over two decades of breeding cranberries, hundreds of crosses, and evaluation of more than twenty thousand plant progenies, Dr. Vorsa released significantly improved varieties for use by cranberry growers.

The result of Dr. Vorsa's breeding efforts has been the commercial release of the Rutgers varieties Crimson Queen®, Demoranville®, Mullica Queen®, Scarlet Knight®, Welker, and Haines. All these unique and improved cranberry varieties are gaining acceptance by growers for their improved qualities and performance.

Prior to the release of the Rutgers cranberries the cranberry industry relied on only a few widely used varieties with a narrow genetic base. 

Photo: Rutgers Varieties at Rutregs NJAES Marucci Research Center

Rutgers Varieties at Rutgers NJAES Marucci Research Center

farm cranberry harvest

farm cranberry harvest

Photo courtesy of Integrity Propagation