In 1985 at the Rutgers Cranberry Research Center, Dr. Nicholi Vorsa initiated a cranberry program to improve yield, fruit quality, and genetic diversity of cranberries. 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™, Vasanna™, and Haines™. These varieties have improved qualities and performance, which growers have come to appreciate. Prior to the release of the Rutgers cranberry varieties, the cranberry industry relied on a few widely used varieties with a narrow genetic base.