Answer: BAsed on your description I am not certain what is happening to your Leylands. However, usually foliage deterioration at the bottom indicates a problem with excess moisture at the roots, this can be due to planting too deeply, planting in a low spot where water collects, or overwatering for example. Watering with a sprinkler rather than drip irrigation so that the foliage is often wet can also contribute to the development of fungal or bacterial infections. I would suggest you work with your county extension and/or professional nursery staff to diagnose the problem more specifically and then work from there. Good luck with your Leyland cypresses!
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