WARF: P100154US01

Cranberry Variety Trade Named "Sundance," with Large Berry Size and Favorable Bud Set Traits


Eric Zeldin, Brent McCown

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in a new cranberry variety with superior fruit size, coloration, yield potential, fertilizer tolerance and flower bud sets as compared to the predominant cranberry cultivar.
OVERVIEWCranberry is Wisconsin’s number one fruit crop. Wisconsin provides nearly 60 percent of the U.S. supply, and significant growth in demand, particularly for fruit for sweetened dried cranberries, is expected to continue over the next decade.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a new variety of cranberry with the trade name “Sundance.” This variety was developed through a cross of the “Stevens” cultivar and a seedling selection of “Ben Lear” that offers significantly improved traits over its “Ben Lear” parent. “Sundance” is superior to the predominant cranberry cultivar “Stevens” in fruit size, overall coloration, yield potential and flower bud set. Also, under high crop loads, “Sundance” tolerates high levels of fertilizer to improve yield and flower bud set without causing excessive vine growth. Researchers believe that the improved fruit quality of “Sundance,” specifically larger size and solid cell structure, will result in an improved variety for sweetened dried cranberry production.

Growers interested in this cranberry variety should license the variety from WARF and obtain vines from one of the approved propagators listed below. The license between WARF and the grower must be in place before vines can be obtained.
  • Cranberry Creek Cranberries Inc.
  • Dempze Cranberry Co.
  • Cranberry production  
  • Large berry size – tests have indicated 60 percent of the “Sundance” yield was in berries greater than two grams, as compared to less than 20 percent in “Stevens.”
  • Excellent bud set traits, both in general bud set and in rebud (return bloom)
  • Fruit color is initially similar to “Stevens,” but color accumulation will proceed even when “Stevens” does not.
  • High yield potential – unoptimized initial large-plot testing indicated 650 barrels per acre; subsequent multi-acre tests showed yields up to twice that of fully established “Stevens” on four-year-old “Sundance.”
  • Fertilizer tolerance – will not runner excessively under high crop loads
  • Can be scaled up to full production relatively quickly
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTSeveral years of field trials have been completed with excellent results. A number of full beds are now in commercial development.

The development of this technology was supported by WARF Accelerator. WARF Accelerator selects WARF's most commercially promising technologies and provides expert assistance and funding to enable achievement of commercially significant milestones. WARF believes that these technologies are especially attractive opportunities for licensing.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at or 608-960-9842.
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Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.