labor - (1) Parturition or the birth process. (2) Human resource that produces goods or provides services.
lactation - Secretion and production of milk.
LEA - See loin-eye area (LEA); rib-eye area (REA).
lethal gene - A gene that causes the death of an individual at some stage of life.
legume - Any plant type within the family Leguminosae, such as pea, bean, alfalfa, and clover.
leucocytes - White blood cells.
LH - See luteinizing hormone (LH).
liabilities - Obligations or debts owed by a business or person to others.
libido - Sex drive or the male's desire to mate.
lice - Small, flat, wingless insects with sucking mouth parts that are parasitic on the skin of animals.
limited partnership - Partnership consisting of at least one general partner, who is responsible for the management and liabilities of the business, and at least one limited partner, whose liability is limited to his or her investment.
linear programming - Mathematical technique used to find profit-maximizing combinations of production activities or cost-minimizing combinations of ingredients subject to a number of linear relationships that constrain the activities or ingredients.
linebreeding - Form of inbreeding whereby a bull's genes are concentrated in a herd. The average relationship of the individuals in the herd to this ancestor (outstanding individual or individuals) is increased by linebreeding.
linecrossing - Crossing of inbred lines.
liquidate - To convert to cash; to sell.
liver flukes - Parasitic flatworm found in the liver.
load - Pounds (number) of cattle that can be hauled on a large cattle truck. For example, pot load is 42,000-52,000 lb (40-42 head of slaughter steers, 72 yearlings, or 100 calves).
locus - Place on a chromosome where a gene is located.
loin-eye area (LEA) - Area of the longissimus dorsi muscle, measured in square inches between the twelfth and thirteenth ribs. Usually referred to as rib-eye area (REA).
long yearling - Animal between 18 months and 2 years of age.
longevity - Life span of an animal; usually refers to the number of years a cow remains productive.
longissimus dorsi - See rib-eye area.
lousy - Infested with lice.
luteinizing hormone (LH) - Protein hormone produced and released by the anterior pituitary that stimulates the formation and retention of the corpus luteum. It also initiates ovulation.