Louisiana catfish farmers who paid assessments on catfish feed between July 1, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2005, can apply for a full or partial refund, says Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Bob Odom.

More than $120,000 is available for refunds to eligible farmers.

The Louisiana catfish industry voted by referendum to discontinue collecting assessments in the summer of 2005. Last December, the Louisiana Catfish Promotion and Research Board decided to return to farmers a portion of the catfish feed assessments previously collected.

Odom said distribution of the funds is being coordinated by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry with assistance from the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation.

“All of the pertinent information is available on the department's Web site, including the application and IRS W-9 form,” Odom added. “It's important that our eligible catfish farmers take a minute to read through the information carefully before submitting their applications.”

All applications must be submitted with a completed, signed and dated IRS W-9 form to the department by March 31.

Anyone needing assistance or having questions should contact Roy Johnson at (225) 922-1280. To download the application and IRS form, visit www.ldaf.state.la.us.