A spokesman for the landholders, Mr Noel Winters, said property owners had begun noticing kurrajongs and wilgas losing their leaves and lucerne crops and household gardens dying about a week before Christmas.
The farmers believe that damage may be due to herbicide spray drifting from one area. The area’s largest property was known to be aerial crop dusting for several days at the time and the farmers believe the spraying was done in conditions that were too hot and too windy.
Kurrajongs are highly prized as feed for livestock during drought. Large trees can take 100 years to grow. At this time of year they are usually so leafy a cockatoo could fly into them and not be seen.
He said a mixture of Ester 80 and Roundup had been used but he denied that spraying had been done under unfavourable circumstances: “We used people with a lot of experience in spraying. They stopped themselves on three occasions when they thought conditions were unfavourable. They went to great lengths to ensure that they just sprayed the target.”