Red apple ice plant in bad shape

What could cause a whole hill of red apple to die? It's been healthy for 15 years with very little care, now within a couple of months the whole hill is brown. Looking up close, the roots and stalks that are still green look fine.
I'll take some to the nursery this weekend and ask. My guess would be some kind of disease, something filtering thru the soil from uphill neighbor, or rats or squirrels eating it.
Any guesses?
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whole hill is brown. Looking up close, the roots and stalks that are still green look fine.

neighbor, or rats or squirrels eating it.

I should mention that searching online, all I could find was possible disease/fungus related to being exposed to heavy rain, irrigation or poor drainage. None of these could be the cause here. Very dry - drought conditions still here. Latest rain was 1/2-inch & very good drainage. Prior to the drought, we have had period of heavy rain for a week or more and no problem like this.
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Snuffy "Hub Cap" McKinney wrote:

no idea. did it get sprayed with something? frosted? dessicating winds? it would help if you described where you are at.
it may come back just fine without anything else needing to be done if the stalks and roots are still green and able to grow.
songbird
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months the whole hill is brown. Looking up close, the roots and stalks that are still green look fine.

neighbor, or rats or squirrels eating it.

Never sprayed, no unusual winds or below 40 deg F. S Calif.
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On Sat, 19 Mar 2016 11:57:01 -0500, Snuffy "Hub Cap" McKinney

I can't answer your question but here is a list of land grant universities in the U.S.
http://www.tiac.net/~mabaker/land-grant.html
One of the things a land grant university does is conduct agricultural research. The University of Nebraska in Lincoln publishes something called NebGuides. This http://extensionpubs.unl.edu/# is the website. YOu might find something there.
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