I've just started my early crop of corn this week. Probably not time to plant it in Alaska yet, but I now live on the coast of Washington and have a lot of the same problems faced in Alaska.
#1 is, Corn likes warmth, especially when germinating, 70 degrees F or higher. We don't get a lot of that here until mid to late June which is too late for me as I head to Cordova for fishing season mid to late April. So I have to get creative.
I start my corn indoors and transplant it. It's not a necessarily recommended technique, but with a little planning, it has worked for me. First, I don't try to plant it to long before the last frost as I don't really keep it in the planting pots too long. Just long enough to sprout and get 2 to 3 inches high. I think the secret is don't let the roots develop so far they crowd the container. That can cause stunted plants later on. http://www.hort.uconn.edu/ipm/veg/htms/sctransp.htm
We have a small porch I use for starting plants and besides full sun, it has a baseboard heater that I make sure is turned up to 70. I water the potting soil once when I first plant the seeds until I see sprouts. I've learned in the past not to over-water and to keep the heat up. Otherwise you end up with rotton seeds and no corn.
I also use a corn with good cold soil tolerance. It's called Precocious and is sold by Territorial Seed. There are garden stores in Alaska that carry Territorial Seed or you can order online or from a catalog. http://www.territorialseed.com/product/593/187 If you click on the more information link under the price list you get some very good info on the cultivation of corn and different varieties.
When I'm ready to transplant I do it into a raised bed. You get warmer soil and it lets excess moisture drain better. I use a black mulch. I've used plastic in the past, but this year I'm trying a biodegradable mulch. I cut holes in it about 10 inches apart in a grid. I like to plant my corn in a block as opposed to one or two tows as it pollinates much better in a block. That's very important to get full ears. After transplanting I cover everything with a floating row cover to protect from light frosts. That stays on until the last frost date which is about mid May here. Luckily my wife will still be here to take care of that. The mulch eliminates weeding as well as warming the soil.
One thing I'd like to try someday is what is called the Three Sisters approach to growing corn. It's an old Iroquois method of planting corn, squash, and beans in the same space. They form a symbiotic relationship and all help the others. You can read all about it here http://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/3sisters.html but basically, the corn supports the pole beans which add nitrogen to the soil making it more productive and the squash or also pumpkin plants create a natural ground mulch keeping the soil cool and moist.